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  • Washington Highlights

    Surgeon General Declares Firearm Violence a Public Health Crisis


    Devan O'Toole, Legislative Analyst
    For Media Inquiries

    U.S. Surgeon General Vivek Murthy, MD, MBA, issued a June 24 advisory declaring firearm violence a public health crisis (PDF). Within this guidance, the surgeon general encouraged a cross-sector approach between clinical health providers, firearm owners, policymakers, and others to promote gun violence prevention. To create better conditions for firearm prevention, he called for the expansion of mental health support, increased funding to use disorder treatment, and investments in educational resources regarding firearms. He urged implementors of firearm violence prevention initiatives to bear in mind socioeconomic, geographic, and racial inequities that may put communities at a disproportionate risk of gun violence. In this guidance, the surgeon general also advocated for a strong foundation of research to improve firearm violence prevention strategies.

    Among other efforts to promote gun violence prevention, the AAMC most recently joined a letter requesting funding (PDF) for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, and the National Institute of Justice to support firearm morbidity and mortality prevention research as part of fiscal year 2025 appropriations [refer to Washington Highlights, June 7].