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Gabby Giffords applauds Surgeon General advisory on gun violence

WASHINGTON — Today, GIFFORDS, the national gun violence prevention organization founded by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, released a statement on the first U.S. Surgeon General advisory on gun violence. GIFFORDS has advocated for a public health approach to gun violence since its founding in 2013. The advisory calls for closing loopholes in U.S. background check laws, requiring safe and secure storage of firearms, investing in community violence intervention, and increased oversight of the gun industry.

Guns kill 44,000 Americans and severely injure hundreds of thousands more each year. The American Medical Association declared gun violence a public health crisis in 2016. An Axios-Ipsos poll last year found “access to guns” was Americans’ number one public health concern.

“I have seen firsthand how shootings are a major threat to Americans’ lives and well-being, and our leaders must view the problem as the public health crisis it is,” said former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords. “There are many powerful forces who downplay the threat of gun violence because the status quo benefits them financially or politically, and I’m grateful that Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy had the courage to do what he knows is best for our nation’s health. Policymakers at every level of government have a responsibility to heed the declaration and take urgent action to protect their communities.” 

Before the Biden administration took office, GIFFORDS and the Center for American Progress authored a memo for the incoming Department of Health and Human Services on “​Gun Violence as a Public Health Emergency.” Early last year, GIFFORDS published a report on the growing epidemic of gun violence during the COVID-19 pandemic.

In 2013, GIFFORDS Law Center and National Physicians Alliance authored a report entitled “Gun Safety & Public Health: Policy Recommendations for a More Secure America.” GIFFORDS Law Center joined eight health professional organizations and the American Bar Association in signing “Firearm-Related Injury and Death in the United States: A Call to Action” in 2015. In late 2018, GIFFORDS partnered with 14 leading medical and public health groups in an effort to urge Congress to fund research through the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to address America’s gun violence crisis. 


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