people holding gun violence prevention signsOn Monday, the U.S. Senate voted on four measures to address the gun violence epidemic — which kills or injures more than 100,000 people in the U.S. each year. Each time, the Senate voted down commonsense legislation.

APHA expressed its dismay, saying that the votes against gun violence prevention measures “keeps Americans at risk.” The votes were held one week after shootings in Orlando, Florida — the largest mass shooting in U.S. history — that killed or wounded more than 100 people.

“Simply put, the Senate missed yet another opportunity to make our country safer,” APHA Executive Director Georges C. Benjamin, MD, said in a news release. “Last week’s shootings in Orlando are even more tragic because we know that gun violence is preventable.”

Senators voted against APHA-supported amendements introduced by Sens. Chris Murphy and Dianne Feinstein that would have expanded background checks to all gun sales and blocked terrorist suspects from buying firearms.

Additionally, APHA supports a public health approach to preventing gun violence, including:

  • requiring and strengthening criminal background checks for all firearm purchases, including all firearms sold at gun shows and on the internet;
  • providing adequate and unrestricted funding for the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and other scientific agencies to research the causes of gun violence and develop prevention strategies;
  • expanding the collection and analysis of data related to gun violence and other violent deaths by increasing the funding for CDC’s National Violent Death Reporting System;
  • reinstating the federal ban on assault weapons and large-capacity ammunition magazines; and
  • preventing known or suspected terrorists from purchasing a gun.

Visit APHA’s gun violence page for our advocacy, tips, policy statements, research and more.