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US medical societies call for action on gun violence

BMJ 2015; 350 doi: https://doi.org/10.1136/bmj.h1027 (Published 24 February 2015) Cite this as: BMJ 2015;350:h1027
  1. Michael McCarthy
  1. 1Seattle

Describing deaths and injuries from gunshot wounds in the United States as “a major public health problem,” eight US health organizations and the American Bar Association are calling for four new policies that they say would reduce firearm related violence without conflicting with the Second Amendment of the US Constitution, which guarantees the right to bear arms.

In a policy statement in the February 23 issue of the Annals of Internal Medicine1 the organizations called for universal background checks on gun purchasers, restrictions on the sale of military-style assault weapons and large capacity magazines, the elimination of physician “gag laws” that limit what doctors can discuss with patients about gun possession and safety, and support for more research into strategies to reduce gun violence. These approaches are similar to public health interventions that have successfully reduced death and injury from tobacco …

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