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Member Research and Reports

Member Research and Reports

Michigan: To Protect Kids and Teens from Firearm Harm, Answer These Questions First

As more researchers and funding sources appear interested in pediatric firearm injury prevention research, a team of experts from around the country published a list of the 26 most pressing questions that they call for impartial studies to address.

Writing in JAMA Pediatrics, the researchers, led by a team at Michigan, lays out the list that they developed after an extensive review of the existing scientific literature and a structured consensus-building process. Their effort involved input from stakeholders from organizations that represent gun owners, law enforcement, clergy, the educational community, firearm injury prevention advocates, medical organizations and more.

The authors belong to the Firearm Safety Among Children and Teens (FACTS) consortium, including Dr. Charles Branas, Gelman Professor and chair of epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “This new scientific consortium is a history-making opportunity funded by the NIH to prevent the tragedy of gun violence that so many of our kids experience each day,” said Dr. Branas.

The FACTS team addressed research across multiple firearm outcomes, including knowledge and attitudes toward firearms, access, storage, and the carrying of firearms, exposure to firearm violence, intentional firearm injury including suicide and mass shootings, and accidental injury.

“We hope the full list of urgent questions we identified will guide funding agencies as they consider new research proposals,” said Dr. Branas.  Since the launch of FACTS at www.childfirearmsafety.org, researchers are more interested in studying firearm issues than ever before.

The FACTS group will soon publish a series of review papers on the existing research on firearm injuries and deaths in children and teens, and related topics.

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