APHA opens public access to firearms research published in American Journal of Public Health

Date: Mar 06 2018

Contact: Megan Lowry, 202-777-3913

Free access to published, peer-reviewed firearms research will enhance public knowledge, encourage action and promote evidence-based conversations about firearm violence prevention policy

Washington, D.C., March 6, 2018 – Today the American Public Health Association announced  research papers, commentaries and analytic essays on public health and firearms  published in the American Journal of Public Health are now available to all free of charge, with no subscription required to access the research, data and findings. 

In the shadow of decades of intentional and unintentional deaths and injuries from firearms, APHA believes better public access to published, peer-reviewed research on firearms can lead to smarter evidence-based policies that enhance firearm safety and violence prevention. With more research and better policy, the public health community hopes to foster more productive conversations and interventions to stop the epidemic of violence in our communities. 

"With the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention functionally barred from conducting meaningful research on firearm violence by Congress, the public health community is stepping up to fill the knowledge gap,” said Alfredo Morabia, MD, PhD, editor-in-chief of AJPH. "AJPH  has published some of the finest cutting-edge research on firearm safety and violence, and we’re proud to offer these insights to the research community, elected officials, advocates for violence prevention and journalists. Opening access to these articles represents a substantial financial effort for a fully independent journal like AJPH, and I am grateful to APHA for this opportunity." 

APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD, added, "Too many calls for reducing firearm violence in our communities are met with thoughts and prayers, followed by inaction and excuses that we don’t know enough. From tragic mass shootings to daily unintentional injury, too many preventable deaths and injuries involving a firearm happen in America. We know enough from decades of published research to be sure that a sound public health approach can reduce death and injury from firearms."

Immediately, a select group of high-value research will be made available to the public. Moving forward, APHA plans to unlock all published and future firearm research. AJPH articles now available to the public include research on the urban-rural differences in firearm suicides, how law enforcement and firearm retailers can serve as partners in suicide prevention, loaded handgun carrying, the financial cost of firearm injury, the effect of state legislation on firearm homicide, interventions to improve safe firearm storage, employer firearm policies and workplace homicide, public opinion on carry laws and the role firearms play in establishing homicide as a leading cause of death for pregnant and postpartum women, among other subjects.

In light of our nation’s long history of preventable deaths and injury from mass shootings, homicides, injuries, suicides and the recent tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, APHA continues to urge Congress to pass comprehensive legislation to reduce firearm violence. Violent death and injury from firearms is one of the leading causes of preventable death in our country, resulting in more than 38,000 deaths each year, and a comprehensive public health approach is needed to address this ongoing crisis. 

Health and social science researchers and practitioners have supported AJPH research on critical public health topics, including firearms, for over a century. We thank them for their strong support and commitment over the years as we make this important and lifesaving research available for broader use. 

"The ultimate goal here is to save lives and improve health. Better knowledge will translate to sound public policy,” Benjamin said. “We hope others will join us in this step toward making all communities safer."


The American Public Health Association champions the health of all people and all communities. We are the only organization that influences federal policy, has a nearly 150-year perspective and brings together members from all fields of public health. Learn more at www.apha.org.

The American Journal of Public Health is the monthly journal of the American Public Health Association. Learn more at www.ajph.org.