The American College of Physicians (ACP) has called for a policy to address gun violence in the wake of the mass shooting in Las Vegas this week, which left 59 people dead and more than 500 injured.

Specifically, the agency is calling for a ban on the sale and ownership of automatic and semiautomatic weapons, which were designed to kill as many people as quickly as possible.

“Mass shootings, each seemingly worse than the one before, have become frequent and even commonplace.  Something needs to change,” stated Jack Ende, MD, MACP, president of the ACP, in a press release. “We must acknowledge that lack of a US policy to address gun violence is the reason we have much higher rates of injuries and deaths from firearms violence than other countries.”

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For nearly 20 years, the ACP has emphasized the need to address firearm-related injuries and deaths as a public health issue. The ACP and 7 other professional health organizations and the American Bar Association released a call-to-action in 2015 that contained recommendations on firearm-related violence. 

The recommendations, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, have been endorsed by 52 different organizations.

In addition, after the mass shooting in Orlando last year, the ACP called on Congress to pass legislation that would reduce the threat of injury or death from firearms. “In light of the rising number of mass shootings, this is a serious public health issue that needs to be addressed immediately by Congress,” the organization stated.

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American College of Physicians. ACP calls for policies to reduce injury and deaths from firearms [press release]. Published October 2, 2017. Accessed October 4, 2017.

This article originally appeared on Medical Bag