Virginia-Based Experts to Participate

Richmond, VA – A panel of Virginia-based and national mental health, public health and gun violence prevention experts, organized by the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy, will convene in Richmond on Monday, January 12, 1-3 p.m., 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.

Monday’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.

“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 Monday’s panel. “Gun violence prevention is always a hotly contested issue in Virginia’s General Assembly and the session that starts this week is no exception. As legislators consider the various policy proposals over the next six weeks, we believe that it is imperative that they hear from the experts and have access to the best available evidence that shows how it is possible to keep Virginians safe.”

Added Virginia Secretary of Public Safety and Homeland Security Brian Moran, “We want to make sure that people with a history of violent behavior can’t obtain firearms in the Commonwealth.  Understanding the evidence helps us make effective policy, and saves lives.  Common-sense, evidence-based measures put forth in Governor McAuliffe’s comprehensive legislation proposals can reduce needless gun violence in Virginia.”

A gun violence restraining order, known as a GVRO, is a promising new strategy developed by the Consortium to make sure that a person in mental health, substance abuse or other crisis does not have ready access to a firearm. A GVRO is a court order that temporarily prevents a person who is who is at risk of harm to self or others in the near future from purchasing or possessing a firearm. This process allows family members to work with law enforcement and the courts to prevent tragedies.

This Monday’s panel is open to media, and coverage is welcome. Interview opportunities will also be available ahead of time via phone and on site at 11:30 a.m in Conference Room 1, and on Monday, panel participants will gather from 1-3 p.m. when they also will be available to media. RSVP is requested; please contact Heather Cabral at


Guns, Public Health, & Mental Illness: New Approaches for Keeping Guns from Dangerous People


Monday, January 12, 1-3 p.m.


The East Reading Room of the Patrick Henry Building (1st Floor)
1111 East Broad Street, Richmond, VA


Panelists to include:

  • Richard Bonnie, LLB. Harrison Foundation Professor of Medicine and Law at the University of Virginia School of Law; Professor of Psychiatry and Neurobehavioral Sciences; Professor of Public Policy
  • Josh Horwitz, JD. Executive Director, Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence.
  • Jeffrey Swanson, PhD. Duke University School of Medicine, Professor in Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
  • Shannon Frattaroli, PhD, MPH. Associate Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health
  • Liza Gold, MD. Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Georgetown University School of Medicine; Distinguished Fellow, American Psychiatric Association


Introductory and closing remarks will be provided by:

  • Brian Moran. Virginia Secretary of Public Safety


The Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy, 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.

Monday’s panel is sponsored by The Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence & the Consortium for Risk-Based Firearm Policy.

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.