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Commission formed to assess gun violence in Multnomah County

Led by the OHSU Gun Violence Prevention Research Center, the new commission will apply a public health approach to analyze causes, drive toward solutions
Led by the OHSU Gun Violence Prevention Research Center, the new Gun Violence Review Commission will apply a public health approach to analyze causes of gun violence in Multnomah County, and drive toward solutions. (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks)
Led by the OHSU Gun Violence Prevention Research Center, the new Gun Violence Review Commission will apply a public health approach to analyze causes of gun violence in Multnomah County, and drive toward solutions. (OHSU/Christine Torres Hicks)

A newly formed Gun Violence Review Commission will use a public health approach to examine cases of gun violence in Multnomah County, identify specific circumstances that lead to gunfire, and ultimately make recommendations to reduce firearm deaths and injuries in the community.

See a media kit about the OHSU Gun Violence Prevention Research Center.

The commission’s work kicked off with an orientation meeting today.

Commission members include representatives from law enforcement and criminal justice, public health and social service agencies, faith groups, businesses, education and community-based organizations, as well as gun violence survivors. The group will review the circumstances of closed cases of gun violence that occurred within the county between the start of 2019 and May 31, 2023. Commission members will share information they may have about the people and circumstances involved in the incidents of firearm violence.  

Kathleen Carlson, Ph.D.
Kathleen Carlson, Ph.D. (OHSU)

“The goal is to discern common, systems-level gaps in the long-term lead-up to individuals’ involvement in firearm violence, and identify solutions to fill those gaps,” said project lead Kathleen Carlson, Ph.D., director of the OHSU Gun Violence Prevention Research Center and an injury epidemiologist in the OHSU-Portland State University School of Public Health. “We see this as a rare opportunity to apply a multidisciplinary, public health approach to reduce firearm injury and death in Multnomah County.”

The OHSU-PSU School of Public Health is providing staffing support for the commission, under Carlson’s leadership.

Gun violence is not unique to Oregon’s most populous county: A statewide firearm injury report recently developed by Carlson’s center found high per-capita rates of firearm injuries in Oregon urban and rural counties alike.

The new Gun Violence Review Commission in Multnomah County is a result of funding from the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. The commission will review cases starting in January, with the goal of generating a set of recommendations to local and regional leaders later in the year.

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