Gun Violence Prevention

People holding up signs reading "Freedom from gun violence" and other anti-gun violence themes.
APA Services advocates for a public health approach to gun violence prevention, supporting evidence-based programs and policies that can reduce the occurrence and impact of firearm-related violence in the United States.

Letter to Congress

protesters holding signs against gun violence

Gun violence is a public health crisis. Pass legislation to promote gun safety

The inaction of Congress in the wake of school shootings, mass shootings, domestic violence, suicides by firearm, and hate crimes is devastating and has long-lasting impacts. APA Services joins other educational and public health organizations to call on Congress to pass gun safety legislation.

Our focus

  • Reduce stigma of mental illness.
    APA strongly discourages the use of inaccurate and harmful rhetoric that blames America’s gun violence problem solely on mental illness. The overwhelming majority of people with mental illness are not violent. Based on the research, a history of violence is the single best predictor of who will commit future violence.
  • Gun violence prevention research
    APA Services advocates for dedicated federal funding for gun violence prevention research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Institutes of Health (NIH) to promote a science-based public health approach to addressing this critical societal issue.
  • Safe firearms storage
    APA supports efforts to fund lethal means safety options including safe firearms storage. Safe storage is crucial to preventing unintentional injuries and self-harm. Lethal means safety training is necessary to educate firearms owners and health care providers.
  • Extreme Risk Protection Order Laws
    APA urges support of state efforts to implement Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPOs) laws. These laws can prevent suicides and can provide communities with an opportunity to petition the courts to intervene, and temporarily remove a firearm if the person is a possible risk to themselves or others without legal repercussions.
  • Community and school-based gun violence prevention initiatives
    APA encourages public investment in evidence based programs and policies that work with schools and community stakeholders to reduce access to firearms by youth and individuals who are at risk of harming themselves or others. These initiatives provide crucial interventions to prevent tragedies and save lives.

Our efforts on this issue advance the following advocacy priorities:

  • Criminal justice
  • Violence and suicide prevention
Gun violence is a public health crisis in America, and guns are associated with far too many deaths in our country, including 50%-60% of suicides.
—Jennifer F. Kelly, PhD, APA President, 2021

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Contact us

Ben Vonachen, MA
Senior Director, Congressional and Federal Relations
Email APA Advocacy Office

Recent advocacy on gun violence prevention

Protester holds sign reading stop gun violence now

Expanding funding for gun violence prevention research

July 11, 2022

Following APA Services’ advocacy efforts, Congressional appropriators increased research funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the National Institutes of Health to address gun violence prevention.