AMA calls for background checks, wait periods to prevent gun violence

AMA Wire
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The AMA adopted policy calling for background checks and a waiting period for all firearms purchasers, expanding on its previous policy of requiring the same for only handguns. 

"The shooting in Orlando is a horrific reminder of the public health crisis of gun violence rippling across the United States," AMA Immediate-Past President Steven J. Stack, MD, said in a news release. "Mass killers have used AR-15s, rifles and handguns, and today we strengthened our policy on background checks and waiting periods to cover them all, with the goal of keeping lethal weapons out of the hands of dangerous people."

Eighteen states have background check requirements, but the provisions vary widely. The AMA considers firearms a public health issue. The newest policy builds on numerous AMA policies that support increased firearm safety to reduce and prevent firearm violence. The new AMA policy parallels policies endorsed by other health organizations.

Allowing research

Earlier at the 2016 AMA Annual Meeting, the AMA adopted policy calling gun violence in the United States “a public health crisis” requiring a comprehensive public health response and solution. Additionally, the AMA resolved to lobby Congress to overturn legislation that for 20 years has prevented the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) from researching gun violence.

“Even as America faces a crisis unrivaled in any other developed country, Congress prohibits the CDC from conducting the very research that would help us understand the problems associated with gun violence and determine how to reduce the high rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries,” Dr. Stack said. “An epidemiological analysis of gun violence is vital so physicians and other health providers, law enforcement, and society at large may be able to prevent injury, death and other harms to society resulting from firearms.”

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I completely agree with you wassman. It is also one reason why membership in the AMA is<br/> falling. The AMA should avoid such proclamations and initiatives if they want their membership<br/> which is in a downward spiral the last ten years.
I completely agree with you. Target shooting is safer than golf and a lot safer than football,baseball,hockey and the contact sports. How many accidental injuries in competitive<br/> shooting sports which use semiautomatic rifles including the AR15 rifles ? How many in one Little League baseball game ? How many with sports induced traumatic brain injury ?
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Actually, all new firearm purchases in all states go through federally mandated background checks. From FBI, "Mandated by the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act of 1993 and launched by the FBI on November 30, 1998, NICS is used by Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) to instantly determine whether a prospective buyer is eligible to buy firearms. Before ringing up the sale, cashiers call in a check to the FBI or to other designated agencies to ensure that each customer does not have a criminal record or isn’t otherwise ineligible to make a purchase." There are no sales over the internet, as is often erroneously claimed, only through licensed dealers. The only firearms sold at gun shows not going through checks (typically <1%, as rest are from dealers using background checks) are those from private collectors selling Elmer Fudd era relics. Criminals circumvent this by stealing firearms and selling to each other, usually to felons, already banned by law from possession of firearms. A "universal background check" only works if all firearms are known and registered to the government, which has been followed by universal firearm confiscation in every country that has instituted this, including Canada, Gr Britain, and Germany. Our 2nd Amendment guarantees that "the right of citizens to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed", and approximately 100 million households of responsible United States firearm owners (Gallup poll 2011 - " Forty-seven percent of American adults currently report that they have a gun in their home or elsewhere on their property", Economist 2013-"39% of households"). really don't agree to your emotionally based liberal politics in restricting their freedoms, any more than restricting their inherit freedoms from discrimination based on religion, speech, gender, sexual orientation, etc. All of those freedoms have also been branded as "dangerous" by authorities here in the past, including physicians. Ask our Jewish historians how giving up their rights to defend themselves worked out. Focus on improving care for mental illness, as 2/3 of the 33,000 deaths quoted are from suicides, not murder. Most of the murders are criminal on criminal, and outside of background checks. The mass-hysteria events are quite a low percentage and not something us "scientists" would think to base universal recommendations on. Find some of us that engage in responsible firearm use - hunting, shooting sports, personal protection, etc, to help shape our "medical" policies. And thank the NRA for educational programs that have lowered children's accidental deaths to an all time low.


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Mar 08, 2018
Deal could cut local competition for health insurance, retail pharmacies and pharmacy benefit management services. AMA also deeply concerned about announced merger of Cigna, Express Scripts.