Chicago, DC – A panel of national mental health, public health and gun violence prevention experts, organized by the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy will convene in Chicago on Tuesday, December 16, to discuss new approaches to keeping guns out of the hands of potentially dangerous individuals. The approaches, including a gun violence restraining order, were first detailed in a report from the Consortium.

Tuesday’s panel comes as part of an effort across the country to highlight the value of the new policy tools the Consortium is recommending to state legislators. These policies would prevent individuals from purchasing or possessing guns when they are at elevated risk of harming themselves or others. In Illinois, more than 1,000 people die every year from firearm-related injuries.

“We need to ensure that those with an elevated risk of violence don’t have access to firearms,” said Josh Horwitz, executive director of the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, the convener of the Consortium, who will participate on Tuesday’s panel. “The approach that this esteemed group of mental and public health experts offers takes the next step toward stopping gun violence in this country. The success we have experienced thanks to former California Rep. Nancy Skinner’s leadership in passing the first Gun Violence Restraining Order this fall is a model we urge other state leaders to follow across the country.”

A GVRO would enable those closest to a person who is at an elevated risk of harm to self or others to petition a court to temporarily remove firearms from that person. After a short period of time, the Gun Violence Restraining Order would be reassessed to determine if the individual still poses a serious risk of violence. A fact sheet detailing a GVRO is available here.

Tuesday’s panel is open to media, and coverage is welcome. Interview opportunities also will be available ahead of time via phone, and on Tuesday, panel participants will gather from 1-3 p.m. when they also will be available to media. RSVP is requested so we can let security know whom to expect; please contact Samantha Friedman at


From Virginia Tech to Northern Illinois University
New Approaches to Keeping Guns from Dangerous People


Tuesday, December 16, 2014, from 3-5 p.m. CST


Loyola University Chicago School of Law
Kasbeer Hall, 15th floor
25 E. Pearson, Chicago


Panelists to include:

Cara Smith, Cook County Department of Corrections
Executive Director

Josh Horwitz, JD, Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence
Executive Director

Jeffrey Swanson, PhD, Duke University School of Medicine
Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Beth McGinty, PhD, MPH, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
Associate Professor, Health Policy and Management

Amy Barnhorst, MD, University of California, Davis
Assistant Clinical Professor, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences

Other speakers, all based in Chicago, include:

Colleen Daley, Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence
Executive Director

Marie Crandall, MD, MPH, FACS, Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine
Associate Professor of Surgery

Nina Vinik, JD, The Joyce Foundation
Program Director, Gun Violence Prevention Program

The Gun Violence Restraining Order (GVRO) is a policy proposal that was recently identified by the Consortium as a promising new strategy to prevent gun violence. The Consortium, a group of mental health and public health experts issued reports late last year to state and federal policy makers making the case for strengthening gun purchase and possession laws to restrict potentially dangerous individuals from having guns.

The Consortium’s epidemiological research identified behaviors associated with an increased risk of future violence, including – among others – prior acts of violence, threats of violence, and a history of substance and/or alcohol abuse.

This event is sponsored by the Educational Fund to Stop Fun Violence, the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy, the Illinois Council Against Handgun Violence, and Loyola University Civitas ChildLaw Center.

The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence (Ed Fund) is the 501(c)(3) sister organization of the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence. The organization has engaged in a number of successful public education campaigns over the years aimed at reducing gun death and injury. The Ed Fund can be found on Twitter.