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Update on Firearm Violence Initatives

This update was issued August 5, 2019 from ACEP President Dr. Vidor Friedman

As fellow emergency physicians, I know you will want to join me in thanking your ACEP member colleagues who valiantly provided the best care possible in several US cities impacted this weekend by mass casualty incidents related to firearm violence. Our training served them well on the frontlines of treating the victims of these senseless acts.

ACEP has spent years working on initiatives that relate to our mission of being an advocate for our patients and promoting public health and safety as it relates to gun violence. As part of an ongoing process, I wanted to update you on what ACEP is doing around this issue: 

  • Our Firearm Safety and Injury Prevention policy statement, which was revised and approved by the Council in 2013, originated in the mid-1980s and evolved over time. It has been a long-standing, adopted position of the College, created by a representative body of our membership, and not an emotional or political reaction to a singular event.

  • Per a 2018 Council resolution, the Public Health & Injury Prevention Committee is considering any updates to our policy statement that reflect current research and literature. Those updates should be finalized and sent to the Board for review in September.

  • ACEP also supports further research and legislation to address effectiveness and ramifications of Gun Violence Restraining Orders (GVRO) and Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO)

  • A resolution has been submitted to the Council for consideration and will be discussed at the 2019 Council Meeting Oct. 25-26.

  • A Council Survey has been developed about a variety of different policy positions on gun injury prevention. We are following a process similar to that done by the American College of Surgeons. Results should be available by the Council meeting this October. 

  • ACEP’s High Threat Casualty EMS Subcommittee recently recommended several action items that go beyond our current policy statement. Per our established process, our Board will be considering these recommendations as possible changes to our policy and our advocacy agenda.

  • A compilation of resources for physicians impacted by active shooter mass casualty incidents is available on the ACEP website. 

  • EMF has partnered on research grants and ACEP made a contribution to the American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine (AFFIRM)- a non-profit organization founded and led by emergency physicians working to end the epidemic of gun violence through research, innovation and evidence-based practice.

  • We're developing a training program, Until Help Arrives, our members can use to teach the public helpful lifesaving skills if they find themselves first on the scene of an emergency. It's scheduled to launch at ACEP19, but ACEP members can request early access if they'd like to be one of our pilot course instructors. 

With 40,000 members, it is often difficult to find a consensus on divisive issues, filled with many faceted and nuanced elements. But I believe we can find the common ground where we, as emergency physicians, can all agree on finding some solutions to the threat gun violence poses to our nation’s public health and safety.

Sincerely,

Vidor Friedman, MD, FACEP
ACEP President

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