Surgeon General Declares Firearm Violence a Public Health Crisis

This week, the nation’s top health official made the first-ever advisory addressing the issue, citing new data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and declaring firearm violence as an “urgent threat to the health and well-being of our country.” Compared with rates of emergency medical service (EMS) encounters in 2019, EMS increased among multiple demographic groups and across all county-level factors. The largest age group-specific increases occurred among children and adolescents aged 0-14 years; for children aged 1-19 years, firearms are now the leading cause of death.  Last year, the nonprofit KFF used federal data to report that firearms contributed to a record-high number of suicide deaths in 2022.  Rates were highest among American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) people, males, and people who live in rural areas.