American Medical Association declares gun violence a ‘public health crisis’

CHICAGO, N.Y. (NEWS10) – In the wake of the attack at an Orlando gay nightclub that killed 49 people and injured many more, the American Medical Association (AMA) announced Tuesday it was adopting a policy calling gun violence in the United States “a public health crisis,” requiring a comprehensive public health response and solution.

The AMA also resolved to lobby Congress to overturn 20-year-old legislation it says prohibits the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from conducting research that would help the U.S. better understand gun violence.

“With approximately 30,000 men, women and children dying each year at the barrel of a gun in elementary schools, movie theaters, workplaces, houses of worship and on live television, the United States faces a public health crisis of gun violence,” said AMA President Steven J. Stack, M.D.

The AMA says it is calling for an epidemiological analysis of gun violence so health providers and law enforcement can determine how to reduce the rate of firearm related deaths and injuries.

The AMA supports a number of policies it says increase the safety of firearms and their use including mandatory waiting periods before purchasing any form of firearm, universal background checks, stricter enforcement of current federal and state gun safety laws, and mandated penalties for crimes committed with a firearm.

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