Save on registration for APHA 2024! Join us in Minneapolis ×

Gun Violence

Gun violence is a leading cause of premature death in the U.S. Guns kill more than 48,000 people a year, and firearm injuries were among the five leading causes of death for people ages 1-44 in the U.S in 2022, according to CDC. As a longtime advocate for violence prevention policies, APHA recognizes a comprehensive public health approach to addressing this growing crisis is necessary.

Latest Updates

U.S. Surgeon General declares firearm violence a public health crisis

How does public health tackle gun violence?


Take Action

The issue of gun violence is complex and deeply rooted in our culture, which is why we must take a public health approach to ensuring our families and communities are safe. We must place a renewed emphasis on improving gun injury and violence research.

If you are interested in a sample op-ed, letter to the editor or technical support to help reach your local media, please contact APHA Media Relations.


“As our nation has this very intense debate over how best to make our communities safer and reduce the carnage that occurs from firearms, we’ve given you some policies that will work and how we can move this nation forward.” -- APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD

Policies that Work to Reduce Gun Violence forum: Video
Presentation slides (PDF) Introduction and OverviewPanel 1Panel 2

Read about the forum in this article from The Nation's Health

APHA webinar: Gun Violence Prevention through the Public Health Lens: History, Intersectionality and Interventions

From The Nation's Health: Federal funding for gun violence prevention research sparks hope

APHA President Pam Aaltonen: Progress on gun violence prevention constrained by unanswered questions (The Nation's Health)

Webinar for APHA members: Gun Violence as a Public Health Issue 

Fact sheet: Who Gets Killed in America? The National Violent Death Reporting System is Keeping Track (PDF)

Troisi, Williams: Public health approach can stem gun violence (PDF, Houston Chronicle)

"Gun Violence is an epidemic. It is time for a public health response" (editorial in The Guardian by APHA's Georges Benjamin) 

Diagnosis: gun deaths and injuries are a public health issue (editorial by APHA Executive Director Georges Benjamin, MD, and Brady Campaign and Center to Prevent Gun Violence President Dan Gross)

The rate of gun-related murders fell sharply in the 10 years after Connecticut implemented a law requiring people buying firearms to have a license, according to a study (CNN article based on American Journal of Public Health study findings)

Community preparedness resources for active shooter incidents (NACCHO)

Gun Violence Prevention A Public Health Approach APHA Press

AJPH Gun Violence Articles

Gun violence topics page (a collection of open access AJPH  research related to gun violence)

Academic Public Health and the Firearm Crisis: An Agenda for Action

Association between Connecticut Permit-to-Permit Handgun Law and Homicide

The Association between State Laws Regulating Handgun Ownership and Statewide Suicide Rates

Primary Care, Behavioral Health, and Public Health: Partners in Reducing Mental Health Stigma

Suicide, Guns, and Public Policy

The Relationship Between Gun Ownership and Firearm Homicide Rates in the United States, 1981–2010.

Mental Illness Stigma, Help Seeking, and Public Health Programs.

The Role of Pain, Functioning, and Mental Health Suicidality Among Veterans Affairs Primary Care Patients

To Flourish or Not: Positive Mental Health and All-Cause Mortality

Suicide Risk and Precipitating Circumstances Among Young, Middle-Aged, and Older Male Veterans.

Availability of Litigation as a Public Health Tool for Firearm Injury Prevention: Comparison of Guns, Vaccines, and Motor Vehicles

Investigating the Link Between Gun Possession and Gun Assault

 Mental Health Promotion as a New Goal in Public Mental Health Care: A Randomized Controlled Trial of an Intervention Enhancing Psychological Flexibility

Mental Health Promotion in a Reformed Health Care System

Reduced Mortality Among Department of Veterans Affairs Patients With Schizophrenia or Bipolar Disorder Lost to Follow-Up and Engaged in Active Outreach to Return for Care.

Prevalence of Perceived Stress and Mental Health Indicators Among Reserve-Component and Active-Duty Military Personnel

Patterns of Treatment Utilization Before Suicide Among Male Veterans With Substance Use Disorders

Lessons Learned From Mental Health Enhancement and Suicide Prevention Activities in the Veterans Health Administration

Fact Sheets, Letters, Testimony and APHA News Releases

APHA gun violence fact sheet (PDF)

APHA welcomes Surgeon General’s Advisory on Firearm Violence (news release)

Organization letter to House and Senate appropriators supporting FY 2024 funding of $35 million for CDC, $25 million for NIH, and $1 million for NIJ for firearm morbidity and mortality prevention research (PDF)

APHA letter to House leaders in support of H.R. 715, the Bipartisan Background Checks Act (PDF)

APHA letter to Senate Judiciary Committee in support of Congressional action on gun violence prevention legislation (PDF) 

APHA mourns gun violence victims, calls for immediate action (news release)

The Nation's Health
APHA Policy Statements
Violence Prevention Advocacy Organizations

David Hemenway

Private Guns, Public Health

While We Were Sleeping: Success Stories in Injury and Violence Prevention

Johns Hopkins University Press

Reducing Gun Violence in America: Informing Policy with Evidence and Analysis (edited by Daniel W. Webster and Jon S. Vernick)

National Academies Press

Firearms and Violence: A Critical Review (Authors: Charles F. Wellford, John V. Pepper, and Carol V. Petrie)

Public Health Newswire

Take Action Now!

multiple public health words like vaccine prevention health equity and injury prevention

Gun Violence Prevention book and the APHA Press logo

Research is Key

Georges Benjamin Enable the CDC to research gun violence

How Gun Violence Impacts Teens

woman interviewing two teen girls at table

The Tipping Point

Satcher sidebar image

Cure Violence

Slutkin sidebar image