American College Of Surgeons - Inspiring Quality: Highest Standards, Better Outcomes

Statement on Firearm Injuries

The following revised Statement on Firearm Injuries was approved in January 2013 by the Officers of the American College of Surgeons and its Board of Regents. It replaces the February 2000 statement that was developed by the Committee on Trauma and approved by the College's Board of Regents—that statement replaced an initial statement addressing firearm injuries developed in 1991.

Because violence inflicted by guns continues to be a daily event in the United States and mass casualties involving firearms threaten the health and safety of the public, the American College of Surgeons supports:

  1. Legislation banning civilian access to assault weapons, large ammunition clips, and munitions designed for military and law enforcement agencies.
  2. Enhancing mandatory background checks for the purchase of firearms to include gun shows and auctions.
  3. Ensuring that health care professionals can fulfill their role in preventing firearm injuries by health screening, patient counseling, and referral to mental health services for those with behavioral medical conditions.
  4. Developing and promoting proactive programs directed at improving safe gun storage and the teaching of non-violent conflict resolution for a culture that often glorifies guns and violence in media and gaming.
  5. Evidence-based research on firearm injury and the creation of a national firearm injury database to inform federal health policy.