Firearm Safety and Injury Prevention

Approved as a new policy by the ACEP Board of Directors titled, “Firearm Safety and Injury Prevention” replacing rescinded policy statement titled, “Firearm Injury Prevention” April 2013

Revised and approved the ACEP Board of Directors January 2011 and October 2012

Reaffirmed by the ACEP Board of Directors October 2007

Approved by the ACEP Board of Directors February 2001 replacing policy statements “Firearm Dealers” (CR 1994), “Firearm Legislation” (CR 1989), “Firearm Possession” (CR 1994), “Firearms-Consumer Product Safety” (CR 1994), “Handgun Ownership” (CR 1993), “Handgun Purchase” (CR 1994), “Handguns” (CR 1985), “Handguns and Handgun Ammunition-Federal Taxes” (CR 1994), “Handguns-Size and Safe Design Requirements” (CR 1995), and Semiautomatic Weapons” (CR 1989) – all rescinded in February 2001


The American College of Emergency Physicians abhors the current level of intentional and accidental firearm injuries and finds that it poses a threat to the health and safety of the public.

ACEP supports legislative, regulatory, and public health efforts that:

  • Encourage the change of societal norms that glorify a culture of violence to one of social civility;
      
  • Investigate the effect of socioeconomic and other cultural risk factors on firearm injury and provide public and private funding for firearm safety and injury prevention research;
      
  • Create a confidential national firearm injury research registry while encouraging states to establish a uniform approach to tracking and recording firearm related injuries;
      
  • Promote access to effective, affordable, and sustainable mental health services;
      
  • Protect the duty of physicians and encourage health care provider discussions with patients on firearm safety;
      
  • Promote the development of technology that increases firearm safety;
      
  • Support universal background checks for firearm transactions;
      
  • Require the enforcement of existing laws and support new legislation that prevents high risk and prohibited individuals from obtaining firearms by any means;
      
  • Restrict the sale and ownership of weapons, munitions, and large-capacity magazines that are designed for military or law enforcement use.
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