The Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy              

October 2021

The Consortium for Risked-Based Firearm Policy



The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence and members of the Consortium on Risk-Based Firearm Policy weighed in on history in the making in the Supreme Court case New York State Rifle and Pistol Association, Inc. (NYSRPA) v. Bruen. In the 2008 landmark case District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held, for the first time, that the Second Amendment bestowed an individual right to possess firearms for self-defense, although it limited the “core” of that right to possess guns in the home for the purpose of self-defense. To date, lower courts have generally upheld laws that regulate firearms in public spaces. However, some on the Supreme Court may see NYSRPA v. Bruen as an opportunity to make it dramatically more difficult to regulate firearms in public, or at least change how lower courts have to evaluate Second Amendment claims in a way that is less favorable to existing laws.


The Ed Fund collaborated with the Consortium to file an amicus brief informing the Supreme Court how and why public health research is indispensable in evaluating firearm-related cases, especially regarding the possession and use of firearms in public. Consortium members’ research is cited directly to identify the risks associated with gun possession and in support of policies such as the New York licensing law at issue in this case. Several Consortium members and other notable researchers signed onto the brief to lend their credentialed support to the value public health data on gun violence has in the Supreme Court’s deliberations.


Research funding: In September, the NIH awarded 10 grants totaling a historic $12.5 million in support of “scientific research to develop, evaluate, and implement effective public health interventions to understand and prevent violence, including firearm violence, and the resulting trauma, injuries, and mortality.” Congratulations to all awardees, we look forward to learning from your work!


Federal updates

  • The Consortium endorsed and submitted a letter of support for the Lethal Means Safety Training Act (HR 2749) in advance of a House Committee on Veterans’ Affairs hearing on preventing veteran suicide. If passed, the Lethal Means Safety Training Act would require the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to regularly update training on lethal means safety counseling and expand the reach of those trainings to more VA staff who routinely interact with veterans as well as to affiliated Community Care Network providers. The Consortium issued recommendations for training on lethal means safety counseling in its 2017 report, Breaking Through Barriers: The Emerging Role of Healthcare Provider Training Programs in Firearm Suicide Prevention.
  • The Invest in Us Coalition is advocating for funding in the Build Back Better Act, President Biden’s proposed infrastructure plan, to provide grants to jurisdictions for community violence intervention (CVI) programs, public health research into the effectiveness of CVI, and victim services programming. To date, the Invest in Us Coalition has successfully advocated for $5 billion in funding to be allocated, split between the Judiciary Committee and Energy and Commerce Committee, and continues to advocate to ensure that the funding remains in the final version of the Bill.
  • Negotiations in the George Floyd Justice in Policing Act have “broken down” with little hopes of Republicans and Democrats reaching an agreement. Sticking points in the negotiations included whether law enforcement should have qualified immunity as well as federal funding of law enforcement.
  • The White House withdrew David Chipman’s nomination to run the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). Despite Chipman’s previous experience working at ATF, his nomination was opposed by Senators from both parties who disagreed with his gun violence prevention approach. Chipman shared reflections with the New York Times.

New resources

Judicial updates

  • The Ed Fund collaborated with the Consortium to file an amicus brief informing the Supreme Court how and why public health research is indispensable in evaluating firearm-related cases, especially regarding the possession and use of firearms in public.
  • The Supreme Court is currently considering whether to take on two significant gun cases: Association of New Jersey Rifle & Pistol Clubs, Inc. v. Grewal (challenging New Jersey’s ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds) and Young v. Hawaii (challenging Hawaii’s good-cause regime for open carry).

Media highlights

Upcoming events

Career opportunities: The University of Michigan Institute for Firearm Injury Prevention is hiring 3-4 tenure track faculty (open rank) with interest in developing/continuing a research focus in firearm injury prevention. Vanderbilt University’s Departments of Medicine, Health, and Society is hiring a tenure-track assistant professor focused on quantitative study of gun violence and policy.


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