We promote evidence-based public health approaches to reduce gun violence. Our non-partisan work includes:
Mass Shooting Protocol & Playbook
In 2020-2021, we interviewed sixteen mayors and officials who responded to mass shootings. Their experiences informed a protocol and resource guide for mayors, city managers, and their staff to prepare for, respond to, and help their communities recover from a mass shooting.
We are currently seeking funding to to develop resources mayors can use to reduce community gun violence and suicide (the nation's leading cause of gun violence) in their communities. First, we propose to conduct research involving mayors, local health departments, and community gun violence experts to learn how officials can better implement evidence-based community violence prevention programs to make neighborhoods safer. Second, we propose to develop guidance for mayors to help them reduce suicide by using effective public health messaging to promote safe gun storage and appropriate suicide prevention resources in their communities.
In 2022, we proposed a partnership between Northeastern University Law School (NUSL) students and the National Coalition to Prevent Domestic Violence to research how judges and domestic violence prevention advocates can increase the rate of domestic violence protective orders that require guns to be relinquished. In 2020, in partnership with the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, NUSL students researched existing gun laws to identify racial bias in their passage, application, and enforcement. In 2019, in partnership with Stop Handgun Violence, NUSL students researched extreme risk protection order (ERPO) laws in 18 jurisdictions to identify the most effective implementation approaches (see report).
Education & Advocacy
We organize conferences and speak at public events to promote public health approaches to reduce gun violence. In June 2022, Sarah Peck will speak to the U.S. Conference of Mayors about the Mass Shooting Protocol & Playbook. In Fall 2021, she spoke to mayors and city managers about these resources and the importance of preparedness. In January 2021, in partnership with Northeastern's Bouve School of Health Services, we organized Public Health Approaches to Protecting Youth from Gun Violence During COVID and Beyond, a three-part, online conference for health care professionals.
We regularly publish op-eds promoting public health approaches to reduce gun violence. In 2021, following the mass shooting in Boulder, we published an op-ed urging the federal government to offer training and funding for mayors who must respond to a mass shooting. Following the mass shooting in San Jose, we urged the nation to do more to prevent suicide, not only to save over 25,000 lives lost firearm-related suicide, but to reduce the number of public mass shootings. On the fifth remembrance of the Pulse shooting, we argued for sustained funding for long-term mental health and other services for mass shooting survivors and their families. We were also among the first organizations to advocate against realistic active shooter drills for school children. In 2019, we urged the Trump administration and Congress to pass a national ERPO law that would fund state ERPO laws to temporarily remove guns from people in crisis. The Biden Administration has since drafted a model ERPO law for state legislatures.