The National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners (NAPNAP) is a non-partisan professional society committed to the advocacy and promotion of optimal health and well-being for our nation’s children and youth. Our members are the voice for children. One of NAPNAP’s primary advocacy goals is to positively affect policies on “injury prevention and harm reduction activities that focus on the leading causes of childhood illness, injury and death, including gun safety.” NAPNAP has always focused on pediatric illness and injury prevention as a core principle. NAPNAP believes that gun policy reform will greatly improve the safety of our children. According to the CDC, “Violence is a serious public health problem. Many more survive violence and suffer physical, mental and/or emotional health problems throughout the rest of their lives.1” The number of children directly and indirectly affected by gun injuries, whether intentional or unintentional, makes this a public health issue. According to the Centers for Disease Control, 3,155 children under the age of 20 years were killed and 13,723 children were nonfatally injured by firearms in 2015 alone2. The 2015 Youth Risk Behavior survey found that approximately 5 percent of youth in 9th through 12th grade had carried a gun in the 30 days before the sample3. Annually, firearms injuries cost $622 million in hospitalizations alone4. NAPNAP urges Congress and all states and territories to immediately undertake bi-partisan, comprehensive gun reform through legislation.
NAPNAP calls for strengthening laws that will significantly and permanently reduce the number of deaths, injuries and negative effects caused by gun injuries in our families and communities. Firearm legislative reform is needed to reduce harm and protect our nation’s children, adolescents, and families. NAPNAP urges Congress, in particular, to immediately move forward with the following legislative reforms.
Approved May 9, 2018 NAPNAP Executive Board
1 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Violence Prevention available online at https://www.cdc.gov/violenceprevention/index.html. Last accessed April 16, 2018.
2 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. WISQARS fatal and nonfatal injury data available online at https://www.cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/index.html. Last accessed April 16, 2018.
3 Kann L, McManus Y, Harris WA, et al. Youth Risk behavior surveillance- United States, 2015. MMWR Surveillance Sum 65(6): 1-174, 2016.
4 Peek-Asa C, Butcher B, Cavanaugh JE. Cost of hospitalization for firearm injuries by firearm type, intent and payer in the United States, Inj Epidemiol 4 (Dec): 20, 2017.