Washington, DC — The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS) praised Congress for passing S. 2938 (117), the Safer Communities Act. The neurosurgical groups believe that this bipartisan gun safety legislation — which would expand background checks, restrict certain individuals from owning firearms and provide incentives for states to enact “red-flag” programs — is a crucial step in preventing tragic and senseless firearm deaths.
“Due to the traumatic injuries and deaths that are caused by firearms, which threaten the public health and safety of many Americans, it was imperative that Congress act to adopt additional measures to prevent firearm injuries,” stated Ann R. Stroink, MD, FAANS, a practicing neurosurgeon from Bloomington, Ill., and current AANS president.
Nicholas C. Bambakidis, MD, FAANS, chair of the department of neurosurgery at University Hospitals in Cleveland and CNS president, added, “In light of the ongoing tragedies related to gun violence, and given that neurosurgeons are often on the frontlines treating these injuries, America’s neurosurgeons support commonsense solutions, including those contained in the Safer Communities Act.”
The AANS and the CNS have long promoted education programs designed to prevent firearm injuries by teaching and encouraging proper firearm use, safety, storage and ownership responsibility. In addition, the neurosurgical societies believe that individuals with behavioral medical conditions should have access to appropriate mental health services and should not have access to firearms.
As members of the Gun Violence Prevention Research Roundtable — a national coalition of medical, public health and research organizations dedicated to continued and increased federal funding for research on firearm violence prevention — the AANS and the CNS are also encouraged that House appropriators have included a total of $60 million for the National Institutes of Health and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for firearm injury and mortality prevention programs in the preliminary Labor, Health and Human Services, Education and Related Agencies appropriations legislation. Research that can help measure the impact of policies and identify opportunities for reducing firearms-related morbidity and mortality is critical in building the evidence base needed to determine which interventions are most successful.
The American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS), founded in 1931, and the Congress of Neurological Surgeons (CNS), founded in 1951, are the two largest scientific and educational associations for neurosurgical professionals in the world. These groups represent over 10,000 neurosurgeons worldwide. Neurological surgery is the medical specialty concerned with the prevention, diagnosis, treatment and rehabilitation of disorders that affect the entire nervous system, including the spinal column, spinal cord, brain and peripheral nerves. For more information, please visit www.aans.org, www.cns.org and www.neurosurgery.org.