Survey of American College of Surgeons Members on Firearm Injury Prevention

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Journal of the American College of Surgeons





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Background: Firearm-related injuries and deaths continue to be a substantial public health burden in the US. The purpose of this study was to describe the results of a survey of US members of the American College of Surgeons (ACS) on their practices, attitudes, and beliefs about firearms and firearm policies. The survey was designed to gain a representative understanding of the views of all US ACS members to help inform ACS positions related to firearm injury prevention. Study Design: A professional survey firm was engaged to facilitate the design of the survey and to support a web-based platform. Data collection through an anonymous survey began in July 2018, with the survey closing in September 2018. Survey data were weighted and analyses included descriptive and bivariate statistics. Results: There were 54,761 ACS members invited to participate in the survey. Of those, 11,147 respondents completed the survey, for an overall response rate of 20.4%. Respondents were questioned on firearm experience, purpose of firearm ownership, opinions on firearm ownership, and importance of ACS support for specific firearm legislation. Survey results varied by practice and training location, practice type, military experience, gender, age, presence of children in the home, level of training, and race and ethnicity. Most survey respondents were ACS fellows (n = 7,579 [68%]), male (n = 8,671 [77.8%]), and White (n = 8,639 [77.5%]). Forty-two percent of respondents keep guns in their home. Seventy-five percent of respondents believe that it is very or extremely important for the ACS to support policy initiatives to lower the incidence of firearm injury. Conclusions: There is broad support among ACS members for many initiatives related to firearm injury prevention. The degree of support for these measures varies based on both the specific initiative and demographic characteristics. The results align with the ACS strategy of healthcare professionals working together to better understand and address the root causes of violence, and simultaneously working together to make firearm ownership as safe as reasonably possible.


Firearm-related injuries and death; United States public health; American College of Surgeons; Firearm injury prevention


Community Health and Preventive Medicine | Medicine and Health Sciences | Public Health



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