August 11, 2016
Area(s) of Interest: Advocacy Public Health
The California Medical Association (CMA) last week announced an endorsement for Proposition 63, California’s “Safety for All” initiative to reduce gun violence in California.
More than 300 Americans are shot each day, and firearms kill over 32,000 Americans each year. In 2013, over 6,000 Californians were hospitalized or treated in emergency rooms for nonfatal gunshot wounds, including 1,275 children and teens.
“Far too often, physicians become firsthand witnesses to the horrific aftermath of gun-related tragedies,” said CMA President Steve Larson, M.D., MPH. “We see it in our hospitals, clinics and on the faces of families who are victims of gun violence. CMA supports Prop. 63 to ensure our communities are safe and healthy places to live.”
Prop. 63 would prohibit the possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines and require most individuals to pass a background check, as well as obtain authorization from the California Department of Justice to purchase ammunition.
Prop. 63 will appear on the November 2016 ballot, and CMA’s Board of Trustees, which is composed of physicians elected by their peers, endorsed the measure during its July meeting. In 1994, CMA declared the high volume of guns in California a major public health problem, and the decision to endorse Prop. 63 builds on CMA’s long history of protecting public health and promoting healthy California communities.
Earlier this year, CMA strongly supported SB 1006, which allocated $5 million to establish the California Firearm Violence Research Center. The research center will conduct interdisciplinary research to provide the scientific evidence upon which to base sound firearm violence prevention policies and programs. The center will also work with the legislature and state agencies to identify, implement and evaluate innovative firearm violence prevention policies and programs.