Key doctors group faces political risks on guns

Key doctors group faces political risks on guns

Gun Rights

The American Medical Association (AMA), the nation’s most prominent doctors’ group, is putting its muscle behind efforts to pass gun violence legislation in Congress, highlighting their advocacy on one of the country’s most politically divisive issues. This week, with physicians from around the country in Washington for the AMA’s national advocacy conference, the issue is being given a prominent showcase. The group invited Rep. Mike Thompson (D-Calif.), chairman of the House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force, to speak on the push for the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, a House Democratic bill that would institute universal background checks. “I am just over the moon in regard to your position on gun violence prevention,” Thompson told the conference on Tuesday. He thanked the AMA for endorsing his legislation. “I can’t tell you how helpful your support is. You guys have been fabulous,” Thompson said. In recent years, the AMA has become an increasingly vocal advocate for measures to prevent gun violence, dubbing it a “public health crisis” in June 2016 and pushing for doctors to take a more visible role on the issue, including discussing it with patients. The group called for a ban on assault weapons, high-capacity magazines and supported buyback programs at last year’s advocacy conference. That advocacy on gun violence is expected to intensify as newly empowered House Democrats make moving legislation a top priority. The group does weigh in on a wide range of health care issues. It opposed the CVS-Aetna merger, pushed for measures to address […]

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