that have been shown to reduce violence. Our members have
mobilized to support the expansion of background checks for
all gun sales, including those at gun shows. APA will continue
to support these and other provisions as part of a multipronged, public health approach to violence prevention.
What is Congress doing now?
In June, a week after the Orlando mass murder at the
Pulse night club, Sen. Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) sponsored
legislation that would expand FBI background checks to
ban people on the terrorist watch list from buying guns. That
legislation was rejected in the Senate. A bipartisan effort to
expand background checks is likely to take place again this
fall, but it also is expected to fail. In the next Congress and
presidential administration, there will be continued efforts to
support research and expansion of background checks.
Importantly, there is renewed momentum at the state level
to keep guns out of the hands of abusive dating partners and
stalkers. This could help push federal action on the issue.
The good news is that members of Congress have indi-
cated a willingness to act on the root causes of inequality, bias
and poverty that contribute to violence in the United States.
What else is APA doing to prevent gun violence?
Partnering with other like-minded groups is another way
APA is working to stem gun violence. Primarily, APA works
with other groups on teasing apart media messaging on mental illness and gun violence. The association is working with
such groups as the Brady Campaign, the National Alliance
on Mental Illness, Americans for Responsible Solutions and
Everytown for Gun Safety.
In addition, APA is an active participant in the CDC
STRYVE Action Council ( vetoviolence.org), a national initiative that seeks to prevent youth violence. The council works to:
■ Increase public health leadership to prevent youth violence.
■ Promote the widespread adoption of youth violence
prevention strategies based on the best available evidence.
■ Reduce the rates of youth violence on a national scale.
What can I do?
APA members can voice their concerns to Congress, urging support for a complete, robust background check system
and increased support for violence prevention programs
and research coordinated by the Department of Health and
Human Services and the Department of Justice. ■
● For more information on how you can get involved to help APA
prevent gun violence, contact Amalia Corby-Edwards at acorby-
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