Rep. Espaillat Applauds U.S. Surgeon General’s Advisory Declaring Gun Violence A National Public Health Crisis

June 25, 2024

Today, Representative Adriano Espaillat issued the following statement in support of the advisory issued by U.S. Surgeon General Vivek H. Murthy.

Which declared gun violence a national public health crisis: 

“Gun violence has devastated far too many families in the United States, including in my district. Today’s important advisory from the U.S. Surgeon General marks the first time that the Office of the Surgeon General has ever addressed America’s gun violence epidemic head-on, and it will open the door to new public health resources being utilized in the fight to end gun violence,” said Rep. Espaillat

“My resolution from this Congress, H. Res. 348 , called on the Surgeon General to use the power of his office to address gun violence, and today’s pivotal announcement answers this call. Employing our nation’s public health infrastructure is a critical step forward in our ongoing battle against gun violence. In the past, the Surgeon General’s Office has successfully aided Congress in passing legislation to regulate and respond to past public health crises involving cigarettes and automobile accidents. Today’s much-needed announcement now paves the way for the same process to occur with respect to firearms,” Espaillat concluded. 

The Advisory focuses on the overall impact of firearm violence to the entire U.S. population. In addition to discussing the existing data on firearms deaths and injuries, the Advisory also details the cascading harm and collective trauma caused by firearm violence on American youth, families, and communities.
Key findings from the Advisory include: 

•   54% of U.S. adults report that they, or a family member, have experienced a firearm-related incident.
•   21% of U.S. adults have been threatened with a firearm.
•   19% of U.S. adults have a family member who was killed by a firearm (including by suicide).
•   17% of U.S. adults have witnessed someone being shot. 
•   Nearly 6 in 10 U.S. adults say they worry about a loved one being a victim of firearm violence.
•   Since 2020, firearm-related injuries have been the leading annual cause of death for U.S. children and adolescents (ages 1–19), surpassing motor vehicle crashes, cancer, and other causes of death. 
•   More than three-quarters of adults (79%) in the U.S. report experiencing stress from the possibility of a mass shooting, and one in three adults (33%) say this same fear prevents them from going to certain places or events.
• An estimated 434,000 youth under the age of 19 lost a parent to gun violence between 1999 and 2020.

Click here to read the Surgeon General’s advisory in its entirety.   

Representative Espaillat is the first Dominican American to serve in the U.S. House of Representatives and his congressional district includes Harlem, East Harlem, West Harlem, Hamilton Heights, Washington Heights, Inwood, Marble Hill and the north-west Bronx. First elected to Congress in 2016, Representative Espaillat is serving his fourth term in Congress. Representative Espaillat currently serves as a member of the influential U.S. House Committee on Appropriations responsible for funding the federal government’s vital activities and serves as Ranking Member of the Legislative Branch Subcommittee of the committee during the 118th Congress. He is also a member of the House Budget Committee and the Congressional Hispanic Caucus (CHC), where he serves in a leadership role as the Deputy Chair as well as Chair of the Congressional Hispanic Caucus Institute (CHCI). Rep. Espaillat is a member of the Congressional Progressive Caucus (CPC) and serves as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus. To find out more about Rep. Espaillat, visit online at

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