Washington, D.C., January 5, 2016 — The American Public Health Association stated strong support for executive actions that President Barack Obama will announce today to prevent gun violence. The actions include requiring more gun sellers to obtain a license and conduct background checks on gun purchasers, as well as devoting more funds to address mental illness.
"Our nation’s epidemic of gun violence exacts far too high a toll on the health of our communities,” said APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD. "The actions the president is announcing today are important steps to help keep guns out of the hands of those who shouldn’t have them. These are steps he is able to take using existing law to strengthen gun safety protections, and we applaud them.
"But clearly more must be done, and as the president has said, Congress needs to act. Congress should quickly adopt commonsense measures to prevent gun violence in our communities. These include requiring universal background checks and providing adequate and unrestricted funding for research to better understand firearm-related violence and reduce injuries caused by guns."
For more on the public health implications of gun violence, visit www.apha.org/gun-violence.
# # #
The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We strengthen the profession of public health, share the latest research and information, promote best practices and advocate for public health issues and policies grounded in research. We are the only organization that combines a 140-plus year perspective, a broad-based member community and the ability to influence federal policy to improve the public’s health. Visit us at http://www.apha.org/.