Gun Violence

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Gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S. Guns kill almost 30,000 people and cause 60,000 injuries each year. As a longtime advocate for violence prevention policies, APHA recognizes a comprehensive public health approach to addressing this growing crisis is necessary.

The issue of gun violence is complex and deeply rooted in our culture, which is why we must take a public health approach to ensuring our families and communities are safe. We must place a renewed emphasis on improving gun injury and violence research. Ongoing work is needed to ensure firearms do not fall into the wrong hands and to expand access to mental health services to those who need it most.

If you are interested in a sample op-ed, letter to the editor or technical support to help reach your local media, please contact APHA Media Relations.

Letter opposing the Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act (PDF)

Letters to the House and Senate in support of comprehensive legislative solutions to firearm-related injuries and deaths (PDF)

APHA mourns Las Vegas gun violence tragedy

Fact sheet: Who Gets Killed in America? The National Violent Death Reporting System is Keeping Track (PDF)

March 2017 issue of the American Journal of Public Health: Academic Public Health and the Firearm Crisis

APHA: We can build violence-free communities

APHA mourns Orlando shootings, epidemic of gun violence 

APHA supports executive actions to reduce gun violence 

Troisi, Williams: Public health approach can stem gun violence (PDF, Houston Chronicle)

Public health taking stronger approach to gun violence: APHA, Brady team up on prevention 

"Gun Violence is an epidemic. It is time for a public health response" (editorial in  The Guardian  by APHA's Georges Benjamin)

APHA, Brady Campaign summit: 'The tide is turning' in gun violence epidemic

APHA on gun violence: 'This is how we keep people alive and safe' 

Tell Congress to pass commonsense measures to reduce gun violence (APHA action alert)

Chicago Tribune  previews gun violence prevention as key issue at APHA Annual Meeting in Chicago


More police die in states with higher gun ownership, AJPH study finds

Public health joining with new partners to fight gun violence (article in APHA's newspaper, The Nation's Health)

Diagnosis: gun deaths and injuries are a public health issue (editorial by APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, and Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence President Dan Gross)

The rate of gun-related murders fell sharply in the 10 years after Connecticut implemented a law requiring people buying firearms to have a license, according to a study. (CNN article based on American Journal of Public Health study findings)

Community preparedness resources for active shooter incidents (NACCHO)

AJPH Gun Violence Articles

Association between Connecticut Permit-to-Permit Handgun Law and Homicide

The Association between State Laws Regulating Handgun Ownership and Statewide Suicide Rates

Shim et al: Primary Care, Behavioral Health, and Public Health: Partners in Reducing Mental Health Stigma.

Lewiecki et al: Suicide, Guns, and Public Policy.

Siegel et al: The Relationship Between Gun Ownership and Firearm Homicide Rates in the United States, 1981–2010.

Henderson et al: Mental Illness Stigma, Help Seeking, and Public Health Programs.

Magruder et al: The Role of Pain, Functioning, and Mental Health Suicidality Among Veterans Affairs Primary Care Patients.

Keyes et al: To Flourish or Not: Positive Mental Health and All-Cause Mortality.

Kaplan et al: Suicide Risk and Precipitating Circumstances Among Young, Middle-Aged, and Older Male Veterans.

Vernick et al: Availability of Litigation as a Public Health Tool for Firearm Injury Prevention: Comparison of Guns, Vaccines, and Motor Vehicles.

Branas et al: Investigating the Link Between Gun Possession and Gun Assault.

Fledderus et al: Mental Health Promotion as a New Goal in Public Mental Health Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Intervention Enhancing Psychological Flexibility.

Druss et al: Mental Health Promotion in a Reformed Health Care System.

Davis et al: Reduced Mortality Among Department of Veterans Affairs Patients With Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder Lost to Follow-Up and Engaged in Active Outreach to Return for Care.

Lane et al: Prevalence of Perceived Stress and Mental Health Indicators Among Reserve-Component and Active-Duty Military Personnel.

Ilgen et al: Patterns of Treatment Utilization Before Suicide Among Male Veterans With Substance Use Disorders.

Katz et al: Lessons Learned From Mental Health Enhancement and Suicide Prevention Activities in the Veterans Health Administration.

APHA Policy Statements
Fact Sheets, Letters and Testimony
Useful Links & Resources, White House and Executive Agencies
Violence Prevention Advocacy Organizations

David Hemenway

Private Guns, Public Health

While We Were Sleeping: Success Stories in Injury and Violence Prevention

Johns Hopkins University Press

Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis (edited by Daniel W. Webster and Jon S. Vernick)

National Academies Press

Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review (Authors: Charles F. Wellford, John V. Pepper, and Carol V. Petrie)

Public Health Newswire

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