Firearm-related injury and death in the United States: a call to action from 8 health professional organizations and the American Bar Association

Ann Intern Med. 2015 Apr 7;162(7):513-6. doi: 10.7326/M15-0337.


Deaths and injuries related to firearms constitute a major public health problem in the United States. In response to firearm violence and other firearm-related injuries and deaths, an interdisciplinary, interprofessional group of leaders of 8 national health professional organizations and the American Bar Association, representing the official policy positions of their organizations, advocate a series of measures aimed at reducing the health and public health consequences of firearms. The specific recommendations include universal background checks of gun purchasers, elimination of physician "gag laws," restricting the manufacture and sale of military-style assault weapons and large-capacity magazines for civilian use, and research to support strategies for reducing firearm-related injuries and deaths. The health professional organizations also advocate for improved access to mental health services and avoidance of stigmatization of persons with mental and substance use disorders through blanket reporting laws. The American Bar Association, acting through its Standing Committee on Gun Violence, confirms that none of these recommendations conflict with the Second Amendment or previous rulings of the U.S. Supreme Court.

MeSH terms

  • Firearms / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Health Services Accessibility
  • Humans
  • Interdisciplinary Communication
  • Mandatory Reporting
  • Mental Health Services
  • Organizations
  • Physician-Patient Relations
  • Public Policy*
  • Societies
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Violence
  • Wounds, Gunshot / epidemiology*
  • Wounds, Gunshot / mortality
  • Wounds, Gunshot / prevention & control*