ACEP believes emergency physicians have a public health responsibility to reduce the prevalence and impact of violence through advocacy, education, legislation, and research initiatives. For decades, ACEP has sought to address the issue of firearms violence in particular by supporting both public and private efforts to fund high-quality firearms injury prevention and control research, as well as by supporting commonsense, evidence-based policy solutions.
Given the multitude of factors and considerations involved in this complex public health problem, we fully recognize that there is no “one-size-fits-all” solution that will fully eliminate the impact of firearm injuries, violence, trauma, and death, but specific interventions and proven policies together can help reduce their frequency and scope. Our policy emphasizes a range of solutions, including the need for more research, universal background checks, restrictions on weapons and large-capacity magazines designed for military or law enforcement use, among others. It also supports a variety of public health and health care efforts such as investigating social determinants and other cultural risk factors on patterns of firearms injury, promoting access to effective and affordable mental health resources for emergency patients for whom a firearm poses a real risk to themselves or others, supporting community- or hospital-based early intervention programs, among a host of others.
As a necessary part of ensuring effective legislative advocacy, ACEP’s political action committee, the National Emergency Medicine Political Action Committee (NEMPAC), donates the voluntary contributions of ACEP members to candidates who will work on behalf of issues that are important to you, the specialty, and your patients. ACEP is not a single-issue organization; we advocate on a variety of important that require us to work with both parties. We don’t always agree with every candidate on every issue. We support Republicans and Democrats and take into consideration the diverse political views of our members and the current political environment.