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APHA welcomes Surgeon General’s Advisory on Firearm Violence

Date: Jun 25 2024

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Media Relations

Statement from APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD

“Today, the American Public Health Association welcomes the release of the U.S. Surgeon General’s advisory on firearm violence. This important advisory will help to educate the public about the devastating toll that gun violence takes on the health of our nation through suicide, violent crime and unintentional shootings. It also includes important recommendations outlining a public health approach to addressing this crisis, including improving research and data collection, implementing community violence reduction programs, requiring safe storage of firearms and keeping firearms out of the wrong hands through the implementation of universal background checks for all firearm purchases and extreme risk protection orders and domestic violence protection orders.

In the United States, gun violence is a major public health crisis and a leading cause of preventable premature death. It is particularly stark among children and adolescents, a population for which firearm-related violence is the leading cause of death. In 2022, more than 48,000 individuals, including more than 4,600 children and adolescents, died as a result of gun violence and many more suffered nonfatal gun injuries. In addition to the direct loss of lives due to firearm violence, children and others are struggling with the mental health implications caused by the all-too-common acts of firearm violence in our schools, places of worship and other public venues where we gather with family and friends.

Preventing death, disability and injury from gun violence requires a comprehensive public health approach. We welcome the Surgeon General’s advisory and the funding Congress has provided for gun violence prevention research. APHA will continue our efforts to advocate for this important funding and other measures to reduce gun violence, working with Congress and the Biden administration to address this ongoing public health threat. We also call on all Americans to raise their voice and take action to end gun violence.”

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The American Public Health Association champions optimal, equitable health and well-being for all. With our broad-based member community and 150-year perspective, we influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Learn more at www.apha.org.