AACAP Statement Responding to Gun Violence
Washington, DC, February 22, 2018 - The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP) both applauds and supports the American Medical Association, American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Pediatrics, American College of Physicians, American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, American Osteopathic Association, and American Psychiatric Association for their recent statements calling out gun violence as a public health issue.
AACAP remains firm to its Policy Statement on Children and Guns, adopted in October 2000 and last updated in June 2016, which states that the most effective measure to help prevent firearm-related deaths and injuries to children and adolescents is to reduce the presence of guns in homes and communities. We also strongly support all efforts to educate children and the public about the danger of guns, and the increased risk of accidental injury and death associated with gun ownership.
AACAP further supports increased funding for research on gun safety and the prevention of gun related violence and opposes legislative efforts to restrict or inhibit such initiatives. Additionally, AACAP encourages the strict enforcement of existing laws pertaining to the purchase, ownership, and storage of firearms, as well as safety measures designed to protect children and reduce the incidence of gun related violence.
The recent school shooting in Broward County, FL is yet another act of senseless violence that emphasizes the need for our policy statement as well as action addressing this public health issue. We hope by declaring a strong stance on this current topic to improve the health of youth
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The American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry promotes the healthy development of children, adolescents, and families through advocacy, education, and research. Child and adolescent psychiatrists are the leading physician authority on children’s mental health. For more information, please visit www.aacap.org