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ANA Applauds Surgeon General’s Declaration of Gun Violence as Public Health Crisis

Dr. Vivek Murthy Calls for Solutions


SILVER SPRING, MD – The American Nurses Association (ANA) applauds U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy’s declaration of gun violence as a public health crisis, a landmark decision aligned with ANA’s decades-long stance on the urgent need to address firearm safety and violence prevention.

Dr. Murthy's advisory underscores the severe health impacts of gun violence and proposes preventive measures similar to those in public health campaigns against smoking and traffic accidents. Recommendations include increased funding for firearm violence research, patient education on firearm storage, and legislative actions such as universal background checks, safe storage laws, Extreme Risk Protection Order laws (also called “red flag” laws), and assault weapons bans.

“Nurses regularly witness the catastrophic consequences of gun violence,” said ANA President Jennifer Mensik Kennedy, PhD, MBA, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN. “From treating victims in emergency rooms to supporting communities after mass shootings, nurses are well aware of the worsening nature of this crisis. Declaring gun violence a public health issue is an essential step towards determining practical solutions that can save lives and reduce the trauma and fear that grip communities nationwide.”

ANA has long advocated for firearm safety and violence prevention. ANA has highlighted the need for research into the impacts of gun violence on health care professionals and the public and increased funding for initiatives to address the root causes of violence. Dr. Murthy’s advisory references the reach of gun violence as well as the impact it has on mental health across the nation.

As a professional organization representing over 5 million registered nurses, ANA is committed to working alongside public health professionals, policymakers, and community leaders to address gun violence and to support those affected by this public health crisis.


The American Nurses Association (ANA) is the premier organization representing the interests of the nation's more than 5 million registered nurses. ANA advances the profession by fostering high standards of nursing practice, promoting a safe and ethical work environment, bolstering the health and wellness of nurses, and advocating on health care issues that affect nurses and the public. ANA is at the forefront of improving the quality of health care for all. For more information, visit

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