STN News Archive

Statement on Firearm Safety and Violence Prevention

The Trauma Prevention Coalition combines the resources of major professional organizations that address the acute healthcare needs of the injured to promote collaborative efforts and develop effective strategies targeting injury and violence prevention while minimizing redundancy. Our vision is “to create a shared forum for innovation and collaboration to advance effective injury and violence prevention.

The increase in firearm-related deaths, mass shootings, and violence in our communities threatens to make it impossible for people (especially children) to feel safe, grow, and thrive.

As representatives from diverse organizations, we welcome the progress made via the recent passage of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act; we believe the recommendations below represent additional fundamental and necessary components of a comprehensive approach to address this important and costly public health problem.

  • Require formal gun safety training for all new gun owners.
  • Require National Instant Criminal Background (NICS) check for all purchases and transfers of firearms, mandatory waiting periods, and red flag laws.
  • Require safe storage of firearms, promote the distribution of firearm safety devices and firearm buyback programs.
  • Promote the development of firearm technology that would significantly reduce the risk of self-harm, prevent unintentional discharge, and prevent unintended use by someone other than the firearm owner.
  • Support firearm safety legislation at the federal and state levels, including raising the age for the purchase of high-capacity, magazine-fed, semi-automatic rifles.
  • Support a formal reclassification of firearms within the National Firearms Act (NFA) regulations with special attention to reclassifying high-capacity, magazine-fed, semi-automatic rifles either as Class III or as a new class with focused regulation under the NFA.
  • Promote and support public health, trauma services, and health system investments in marginalized communities of color with the goal to remediate inequities in social determinants of health and injury.
  • Appropriate federal, state, and local funding for non-partisan firearm injury and violence prevention/intervention research at a level commensurate with the burden of the disease, without restriction. The research agenda should broadly address firearm safety (including safe storage and safe use), violence intervention and prevention, serious mental illness, firearm violence, and healthcare worker safety.
  • Develop and implement standards for Trauma Informed Care in all trauma centers and hospitals.
  • Fund the development of evidence-based community-affiliated, trauma centers and hospital-based violence intervention programs.
  • Promote “Stop the Bleed” education and state legislation to place bleeding control kits in public locations to save the lives of those severely bleeding.

Our organizations are committed to working together, to promote and support common sense and evidence-based approaches to address violence as a public health problem. We, as organizational members of the Trauma Prevention Coalition, are committed to working together on a unified approach to firearm violence in a combined medical and public health manner. The undersigned organizations offer our expertise and resources to assist efforts to effectively address the epidemic of violence and firearm-related injury.

The following members of the Trauma Prevention Coalition have signed on to this statement:

American Association for the Surgery of Trauma
American College of Surgeons – Committee on Trauma
American Trauma Society
Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma
Pediatric Trauma Society
Society of Trauma Nurses
Trauma Center Association of America
Injury Free Coalition for Kids
Safe States Alliance
ThinkFirst
The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention

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References and Statements of Member Organizations:

  1. Trauma Prevention Coalition. Vision, Mission, Description, and Members of the Coalition: https://www.amtrauma.org/page/TPC.
  2. American Association for the Surgery of Trauma, Eastern Association for the Surgery of Trauma, and Western Trauma Association. Joint Statement on Firearm-Related Injuries, July 5, 2022: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.amtrauma.org/resource/resmgr/WestAASTEASTStatement2022.pdf.
  3. American College of Surgeons. ACS-COT Firearm Strategy Team (FAST): 13 Recommendations Based on Public Safety Principles, Nov. 14, 2018: https://www.facs.org/for-medical-professionals/news-publications/news-and-articles/press-releases/2022/firearm-injury-prevention-activities/brief-summary-fast-workgroup
  4. Talley CL, Campbell BT, Jenkins DH, et al. Recommendations from the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma’s Firearm Strategy Team (FAST) Workgroup: Chicago Consensus I. J Am Coll Surg, Feb. 2019; 228(2):198-206. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2018.11.002.
  5. Dicker RA, Thomas A, Bulger EM, et al. Strategies for Trauma Centers to Address the Root Causes of Violence: Recommendations from the Improving Social Determinants to Attenuate Violence (ISAVE) Workgroup of the American College of Surgeons Committee on Trauma. Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Sept. 2021; 233 (3):471-478, 478e1. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2021.06.016.
  6. Bulger EM, Kuhls DA, Campbell BT, et al. Proceedings from the Medical Summit on Firearm Injury Prevention: A Public Health Approach to Reduce Death and Disability in the United States: Journal of the American College of Surgeons, Oct. 2019; 229 (4):415- 430e12. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2019.05.018.
  7. American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. AAOS Actively Supports ACS Firearm Strategy, June 16, 2022: https://www.aaos.org/aaosnow/2022/jun/youraaos/youraaos04/.
  8. American Association for the Surgery of Trauma. Statement on Firearm Injury, March 2018: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.amtrauma.org/resource/resmgr/AAST_Position_Statement_on_F.pdf.
  9. American Trauma Society. ATS Position Statement 2022-01: Firearm Violence, 2022: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.amtrauma.org/resource/resmgr/position_statements/ATS_Position_Statement_2022-.pdf.
  10. Trauma Center Association of America. TCAA’s Violence Prevention Statement, June 28, 2022: https://www.traumacenters.org/news/611162/TCAA-Firearm-Statement.htm.
  11. Society of Trauma Nurses. STN Position Statement on Gun Violence, July 18, 2022: https://www.traumanurses.org/stn-position-statement-on-gun-violence.
  12. Pediatric Trauma Society. Statement on Gun Violence, 2022: https://pediatrictraumasociety.org/news/position-statements/Gun-Violence.cgi.
  13. Pediatric Trauma Society. Statement on Firearm Trauma, 2022: https://pediatrictraumasociety.org/news/position-statements/Firearm-Trauma.cgi.
  14. The Health Alliance for Violence Intervention. Seeing Beyond the Pain: HAVI Statement on the Impact of Recent Violence, 2022: https://www.thehavi.org/havi-statement-on-impact-of-recent-violence.
  15. The Health Alliance or Violence Intervention. Statement on the Final Passage of the Bipartisan Infrastructure Act, June 24, 2022: https://www.thehavi.org/havi-statement-final-passage-of-bipartisan-safer-communities-act.
  16. The Safe States Alliance. Firearm Policy Statement, March 2019: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.amtrauma.org/resource/resmgr/SSA_Firearm_Policy_Statement.pdf.
  17. The Safe States Alliance. Respectively, We Will Not Be Silent, 2022: https://cdn.ymaws.com/www.amtrauma.org/resource/resmgr/SSA_Respectfully_We_Will_No.docx.
  18. Injury Free Coalition for Kids. Firearm Injury Prevention Statement, Checklist, Presentation, and References: https://www.injuryfree.org/safetytpc_display.cfm?PermanentId=ADC74F45-E6D2- 4BCA-8D270EDDD0370F76.
  19. Infographic: 6 Guiding Principles To A Trauma-Informed Approach: https://www.cdc.gov/cpr/infographics/6_principles_trauma_info.htm.

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