Massachusetts Medical Society: Firearm Violence Resources

Firearm Violence Resources

Talking to Patients About Gun Safety

Clinicians need practical information on how to begin a conversation with their patients about firearms or respond to a patient's concern.  In addition, it's important to know what clinicians are permitted to ask and record in their patient's record and what advice they can give to patients that comports with federal and state law.  Using clinical scenarios, this CME activity addresses all of those topic areas and many more.

The content is available in two formats:  

  1. For the Online CME Course in video format, click here.
  2. For those not seeking CME credit for this activity, the video recording is available FREE at the Conference Proceeding Archive page or directly, click here.

Additional Educational Materials (pdf)
Gun Safety and Your Health (for patients)

Talking to Patients About Gun Safety (for providers)

Printable Materials (pdf)
For your convenience, we've provided two-page fliers with the information above that can be easily downloaded from the website for exhibiting in clear stands in the office, handing to patients, and promoting on bulletin boards in exam rooms:
Printable Firearms Patient Information
Printable Firearms Provider Information

Why should physicians be prepared to counsel patients about firearm safety? Interviewed at the annual MMS Men’s Health Symposium, Dr. Michael Hirsch explains:  

12th Annual Public Health Leadership Forum
Firearm Violence: Policy, Prevention & Public Health

The 12th Annual Public Health Leadership Forum: Policy, Prevention & Public Health
, conducted in April 2016.

Content includes archived presentations from policy leaders, researchers, and public health experts providing the latest research and information on this complex issue.

The content is available in two formats:

  1. Online CME Course, divided into 6 modules and as a Conference Archive 
  2. For those not seeking CME credit for this activity, the video recording is available FREE at the Conference Proceeding Archive page or directly, click here.

The American Public Health Association: Gun Violence Information

Attorney General Maura Healey’s Three-Point Plan to Reduce Gun Violence  

American Foundation for Firearm Injury Reduction in Medicine

AFFIRM is a non-profit corporation comprised of physician leaders who seek to diminish the human and financial costs of firearm injury in the United States of America. AFFIRM has built a coalition of clinicians and researchers in emergency medicine, trauma surgery, pediatrics, psychiatry and public health to work on issues of common concern to all patients and communities at risk of firearm-related violence. AFFIRM will partner with private sector financial resources to fund public health research of gun violence prevention.

Being Prepared for the Unexpected: Building Resilient Communities

This activity, a  collaboration between MMS and the Massachusetts Department of Public Health, was developed to identify the principals needed in order to be prepared without placing oneself  in unnecessary harm. Topics covered include the importance of reporting suspicious activity, how to recognize potentially important signs and signals in a serious situation, the importance of adhering to the incident command system, and how to cope and provide support to others after an event. The recording is available FREE at the Conference Proceeding Archive page or at

“Initiating a Conversation with Patients on Gun Safety”
This archived webinar provides helpful resources for medical professionals enabling an open discussion on firearm safety including issues in pediatric and adult settings and related medical, behavioral, and legal implications of firearm storage, access, and use in the home.

MMS Physician Focus “Guns and Public Health” 
Physician Focus is a collaborative effort of the Massachusetts Medical Society, and HCAM-TV, Hopkinton. Guns and Public Health shines a spotlight on gun violence as a public health issue, the growing incidence of gun violence and its impact on children.

Curbing Firearm Violence: Vital Signs Talks with Michael Hirsh, M.D.

Vital Signs is the monthly member publication of the Massachusetts Medical Society that provides news and in depth articles on current health care topics, practice and professional matters and the public’s health. Michael Hirsh, MD,  director of trauma services at the Trauma Center and Pediatric Intensive Care Unit of the UMass Memorial Children’s Medical Center discussed the role of physicians in addressing the firearm issue as well as patients’ response to physicians broaching the subject of gun ownership.


Goods for Guns

Goods for Guns, established in  2001, is a gun buyback program that has been a collaborative effort with the Worcester District Attorney, the Worcester Police Department, and the Department of Surgery. The goals of this program are 1) to remove unwanted improperly stored guns from homes; 2) to educate the community about the increased risk of gun-related injuries in the home and the importance of safe gun storage; and 3) to identify individuals possessing improperly stored guns at home and provide them with safety information and alternatives.

Program buyback totals (can you imbed the attached slide?If not, we can leave it out)


Institute of Medicine Report: Priorities for Research to Reduce the Threat of Firearm-Related Violence
This report was prepared in response to President Obama’s executive order issued in January 2013 directing the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other federal agencies to support research on the prevention of gun violence, and to identify the most pressing research questions relating to firearm violence.

American Academy of Pediatrics Policy Statement: Firearm-Related Injuries Affecting the Pediatric Population

Journal Articles

“In the Wake of Orlando — Taking Steps against Gun Violence”
New England Journal of Medicine Editorial

Chana A. Sacks, M.D., Debra Malina, Ph.D., Stephen Morrissey, Ph.D., Edward W. Campion, M.D., Mary Beth Hamel, M.D., M.P.H., and Jeffrey M. Drazen, M.D.

“Firearm Injuries and Violence Prevention — The Potential Power of a Surgeon General’s Report”
New England Journal of Medicine Perspective

John Maa, M.D., and Ara Darzi, M.D.

“Rooting Out Gun Violence”
New England Journal of Medicine Editorial

“In Memory of Daniel — Reviving Research to Prevent Gun Violence”
New England Journal of Medicine Perspective by  Chana A. Sacks, M.D.

“Special Issue on the Epidemiology and Prevention of Gun Violence”
Edited by David Hemenway and Daniel W. Webster
This special issue of Preventive Medicine includes editorials and research articles on gun violence.

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