Law enforcement and health care officials should partner to prevent gun violence

1. Recent growth in gun crime has sparked significant debate regarding regulations and prompted a shift in focus from response to deterrence.

2. While numerous gun crime reduction strategies have been introduced, no declines in gun violence have been noted. This ineffectiveness highlights a need for collaboration between the law enforcement and health care communities.

Study Rundown: The increase in homicides in recent years has been mirrored by a concurrent increase in the percentage of homicides committed with a firearm. Law enforcement agencies traditionally focus on response, investigation, and prosecution, but this unchecked growth calls for an expansion of their sphere of influence. Partnerships between healthcare facilities and first responders have demonstrated promising results. For instance, the use of novel technologies such as the ShotSpotter, an audio triangulation system, has helped improve response times from both trauma and law enforcement systems. Further, community preparedness interventions such as StopTheBleed have gained popularity and are likely to make meaningful impacts. Integrated information networks also play a vital role in reducing gun crime. For example, missiles extracted during surgery are no longer simply discarded; rather, they are collected for analysis, and information is stored in a national database. At an even broader level, policy solutions are believed by many to be the most effective method of addressing this issue, but background check bills such as the HR 8 have received significant pushback in both state and national arenas. Overall, the task of reducing gun crime is too large for any single group to tackle. As agents that are present in every jurisdiction, law enforcement and health care officials together have the responsibility—and the potential—to generate pragmatic solutions.

Click to read the study in Current Trauma Reports

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