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Open Access Publications from the University of California

California ACEP Firearm Injury Prevention Policy

  • Author(s): Fernandez, Jorge
  • Nichols, Taylor
  • Basrai, Zahir
  • Young, Randall
  • Gertz, Michael
  • Futernick, Marc
  • Fenton, Andrew
  • et al.
Creative Commons 'BY' version 4.0 license

Firearm-related deaths and injuries are a serious public health problem in California and the United States. The rate of firearm-related deaths is many times higher in the US than other democratic, industrialized nations, yet many of the deaths and injuries are preventable. The California American College of Emergency Physicians Firearm Injury Prevention Policy was approved and adopted in 2013 as an evidence-based, apolitical statement to promote harm reduction. It recognizes and frames firearm injuries as a public health epidemic requiring allocation of robust resources, including increased governmental funding of high-quality research and the development of a national database system. The policy further calls for relevant legislation to be informed by best evidence and expert consensus, and advocates for legislation regarding the following: mandatory universalbackground checks; mandatory reporting of firearm loss/theft; restrictions against law-enforcement or military-style assault weapons and high capacity magazines; child-protective safety and storage systems; and prohibitions for high-risk individuals. It also strongly defends the right of physicians to screen and counsel patients about firearm-related risk factors and safety. Based upon best-available evidenced, the policy was recently updated to include extreme risk protection orders, which are also known as gun violence restraining orders.

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