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Los Angeles County Medical Association, L.A. Care Health Plan and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, Launch Gun Safety Billboard Campaign


In response to the public health crisis of gun violence, the Los Angeles County Medical Association, L.A. Care Health Plan and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Office of Violence Prevention are collaborating on a digital billboard campaign that emphasizes the importance of gun safety and promotes the use of gun locks to keep children and youth safe from accidental gun violence inside the home. The campaign is funded by the Los Angeles County Medical Association and L.A. Care Health Plan.

 

According to a recent report from the Centers for Disease Control, between 2003 and 2021, accidental gun deaths of children 17-years-old and under, were most likely to occur in a house or apartment. Eight in 10 such incidents took place in a home; 56% happened in the child's own home. In 2022, more than 800 deaths in L.A. County involved a firearm and 313 of these deaths were due to gun suicide.

 

“A significant portion of the gun violence that plagues our communities – especially unintentional deaths or injuries and gun suicides – can be prevented if firearms in the home are kept locked and unloaded,” said Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of the Department of Public Health. “The billboard campaign and the free gun lock distribution program are critically important steps in the effort to reduce gun violence, especially gun violence involving children.”

 

“The Los Angeles County Medical Association (LACMA) is proud to stand alongside our valued partners, L.A. Care Health Plan and Los Angeles County Department of Public Health, in support of this critical initiative,” Gustavo Friederichsen, CEO of LACMA added. "Gun violence exacts a devastating toll on our communities, especially our youth. By advocating for responsible gun safety measures, such as the use of gun locks, we can prevent tragic accidents and save lives. We invite our healthcare community to help spread the word and we urge every member of our community to take advantage of this opportunity to make our homes safer and protect our loved ones. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the fight against gun violence."

 

Gun violence is a public health crisis and, as the largest health plan in L.A. County with nearly 2.6 million members, L.A. Care feels a deep responsibility to take a community leadership role in advocating for responsible gun safety laws,” said John Baackes, L.A. Care CEO. “Gun locks are a step that every gun owner can take to ensure we don’t lose another child in a senseless firearm death.”

 

The digital billboards – which display a young person next to the statistic that in Los Angeles County a child is either injured or killed by gun violence every 30 hours – will be posted on heavily traveled portions of the 10 and 710 freeways beginning April 1.  Another 150 “poster billboards” with the same message will be located at bus benches across the County.

 

The billboards direct viewers to visit lockedandunloaded.org if they are interested in obtaining a free gun lock. The website features an interactive map where residents can find physical sites throughout the County that will be distributing more than 60,000 free cable gun locks, no questions asked.

 

Whether keeping guns locked and unloaded in your own home, or sharing gun safety information with friends, neighbors, and family members, each of us has an important role to play in reducing gun violence. For more information, and to receive a free gun lock, please visit lockedandunloaded.org.

 

 

About LACMA

The Los Angeles County Medical Association (LACMA) is an organization of more than 7,000 dedicated physicians who advocate quality healthcare for all patients and serve the professional needs of its members. The group serves to represent its professional members in public policy, government relations, and community relations. The organization was founded in 1871 and is a constituent of the California Medical Association (CMA). LACMA, together with CMA physicians, strives to preserve and protect the noble pursuit of healthcare delivery.

 

About L.A. Care Health Plan

L.A. Care Health Plan is the largest health plan in Los Angeles County serving more than one of every four Angelenos. It is also the largest publicly operated plan in the country. L.A. Care offers four health coverage plans including Medi-CalL.A. Care Covered™L.A. Care Medicare Plus and the PASC-SEIU Homecare Workers Health Care Plan, all dedicated to being accountable and responsive to members. As a public entity, L.A. Care’s mission is to provide access to quality health care for L.A. County's low-income communities, and to support the safety net required to achieve that purpose. L.A. Care prioritizes quality, access and inclusion, elevating health care for all of L.A. County. For more information, follow us on XFacebookLinkedIn and Instagram.

 

About Los Angeles County Department of Public Health

The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health is committed to promoting health equity and ensuring optimal health and well-being for all 10 million residents of Los Angeles County. Through a variety of programs, community partnerships and services, Public Health oversees environmental health, disease control, and community and family health. Nationally accredited by the Public Health Accreditation Board, the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health comprises nearly 4,500 employees and has an annual budget of $1.2 billion. To learn more, visit PublicHealth.LACounty.gov, and follow Public Health on social media at twitter.com/LAPublicHealth, facebook.com/LAPublicHealth, and youtube.com/LAPublicHealth.

 

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