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Johns Hopkins Faculty Contribute to New Report: “Guns, Public Health and Mental Illness: An Evidence Based Approach for State Policy”


The Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy, which includes Drs. Shannon Frattaroli and Emma (Beth) McGinty with the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, will release a new report today (December 2nd) that will recommend state-level policy changes to address gun violence and mental illness, and proposals aimed at identifying people who are at an elevated risk of violence via risk factors such as heavy drinking or history of violent crime.

Drs. Frattaroli and McGinty are available for interviews on the report, to provide comment on what is known about the risk for gun violence in high-risk individuals, how states can address the issue of mental illness and gun violence and other related issues. 

The report will be released at a public forum at the University of Virginia, "From Virginia Tech to the Navy Yard: New Approaches to Keeping Guns from Dangerous People," from 1:30-5p.m. at UVA's Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. The event is free and open to the public, and the report's release and keynote remarks will be live streamed at

“Keeping guns out of the hands of people who are at an elevated risk for violence and suicide is a public health priority,” said Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH. “This report outlines the steps states can take to achieve this goal, while also respecting the rights of people with mental illness, who are responsible for only about four percent of the violence in society.”

In addition to Frattaroli and McGinty, Consortium members include Daniel Webster, ScD, and Jon Vernick, JD, director and deputy director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research. Additional members include other leading researchers, practitioners, and advocates in gun violence prevention and mental health. In March of 2013, members of the Consortium met at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health for a two-day conference to discuss research evidence and identify areas of consensus.

“By drawing upon the expertise of researchers, practitioners and advocates, the report offers evidence-based policies which also take into account the realities of the mental health system,” said Emma (Beth) McGinty, PhD, MPH.  “States now have access to evidence-based strategies to reduce gun violence among individuals most at risk.”

A PDF of the report will be available at 1PM at Advance copies are available upon request (embargoed until 1PM).

The Consortium has also developed recommendations for reducing gun violence through Federal policy; that report will be released on December 11th in Washington, DC.

Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH, is an Associate Professor of Health Policy and Management at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health (JHSPH) where she is core faculty at the Center for Gun Policy and Research. Dr. Frattaroli’s research focuses on policy and advocacy strategies designed to prevent injury, with a particular focus on how interventions are implemented once in place. Most of Dr. Frattaroli’s gun violence prevention work focuses on firearm-related domestic violence and the role of technology in preventing gun injury. At the School, she teaches courses on public health policy formulation and the science and practice of implementation. Dr. Frattaroli is committed to work that advances the translation of findings into policy and practice. She has published widely on the use of qualitative methods in injury prevention, as well as on the science and practice of translating injury prevention interventions. Dr. Frattaroli earned her PhD in Health Policy and Management and her MPH from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health where she also completed a post-doctoral fellowship in Community-Based Participatory Research.

Beth McGinty, PhD, MS is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at JHSPH, and a core faculty member of both the Center for Gun Policy and Research and the JHSPH Institute for Health and Social Policy.  Her research focuses on how public policies affect mental health, substance use, and gun violence. Dr. McGinty's recent research examined the effects of news media coverage of mass shootings by persons with mental illness on Americans' support for gun policies and attitudes toward individuals with serious mental illnesses. At the Center for Gun Policy and Research, Dr. McGinty uses  public opinion surveys and message-framing experiments to assess public support for gun violence prevention policies and collaborates on studies of the effects of youth-focused firearm restrictions and policies designed to prevent the diversion of guns to criminals.  She received her PhD in Health Policy and Management in 2013 from JHSPH where she was a Sommer Scholar, and received an MS in Health and Behavior Studies from Columbia University in 2006.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health media contact: Tim Parsons at 410-955-7619 or Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research media contact: Alicia Samuels: or 914 720 4635.