Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science in Biomedical Sciences


Public Health


Gun violence is a public health epidemic that affects the lives of children. The United States has the highest firearm deaths in children and adolescents among other high-income countries (University of Michigan, 2019). The Second Amendment ratified in 1791 protects the rights of citizens to keep and bear arms. This policy made by the founding fathers underlie controversial debates in the present day, resulting in different federal, state, and local gun laws. Due to the varying gun policies, firearm homicide rates of children and adolescents are climbing like never before. Firearms suicide is even more frequent than homicide and is widely associated with mental illnesses that frequently arise in adolescence.

In Philadelphia today, there is a high prevalence of gun violence in areas that have a high concentration of low-income neighborhoods. The individuals at risk for firearm injuries are young African American men, and homicide by firearms is their leading cause of death. The American Pediatric Society encourages pediatricians and other primary care physicians to counsel for proper firearm storage to reduce the effects of gun violence in children and adolescents. However, physicians seldom give firearms counseling mainly due to a lack of time, education, and training, which includes the awareness of policies that control the scope of physician firearms counseling that also protects the receiver’s second amendment rights.

The objective of this study is to perform a literature review of techniques and recommendations to firearms counseling in pediatric primary care settings with an awareness of policies in Philadelphia. Expectation is that a high rate of patients will be complying to firearms counseling and performing proper gun storage in family homes. The techniques used in these studies will be examined against Philadelphia and Pennsylvania policies in order to make an evidence-based algorithm for pediatricians in the city of Philadelphia.

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