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Firearm Violence Is a Public Health Issue, Physicians Say

The American College of Physicians releases policies to combat gun-related injury, death

man aiming gun

THURSDAY, Nov. 8, 2018 (HealthDay News) -- In a position paper published online Oct. 30 in the Annals of Internal Medicine, the American College of Physicians (ACP) has updated its policy recommendations for reducing gun-related injuries and deaths in the United States.

Renee Butkus, and colleagues from the ACP Health and Public Policy Committee, updated the college's previous policies with updated evidence to fill previous gaps in policy or clarification as needed.

The committee identified nine strategic imperatives. Central to the position paper is the recognition that firearm safety is a public health issue and policy decisions should be based on scientific evidence. The ACP strongly urges physicians to speak to their patients about firearm safety whenever risk factors are present and encourages physicians to take a public pledge to engage in this type of discussion.

"The ACP has pressed for the adoption of policies to reduce the number of deaths and injuries related to firearms for more than 20 years and is disheartened by the lack of action to protect the American public," the authors write.

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