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Am Fam Physician. 2024;109(5):474-476

Author disclosure: No relevant financial relationships.

Case Scenario

O.C., my 14-year-old patient, presents for a preparticipation sports examination before his high school volleyball season starts in several weeks. I care for his entire family, including his 8-year-old sibling, mother, and father. O.C.'s older brother is also my patient but no longer lives at home. O.C. shares that he has no physical or mental health concerns. My screening includes the American Academy of Pediatrics Bright Futures Questionnaire, and his mother lists that the family has firearms in the home. When I ask O.C. and his mother about her response, they share that the patient and his older brother own several hunting rifles. They state the rifles are stored without trigger or cable locks in an unlocked gun cabinet.


Family physicians are well suited to engage in patient-centered discussions that promote firearm injury prevention. In 2018, the American Academy of Family Physicians published a position paper on the prevention of gun violence, recommending that family physicians ask patients about firearms in their homes; with patients who do own firearms, physicians are encouraged to discuss the safe storage of firearms and ammunition.1 A 2020 survey of more than 1,000 primary care physicians in North America showed that most who were surveyed were comfortable asking their patients about firearms; however, less than 8% were comfortable counseling them on firearm safety.2 This commentary is intended to serve as a framework for how physicians can translate the American Academy of Family Physicians call to action into clinical practice.

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Case scenarios are written to express typical situations that family physicians may encounter; authors remain anonymous. Send scenarios to Materials are edited to retain confidentiality.

This series is coordinated by Caroline Wellbery, MD, associate deputy editor.

A collection of Curbside Consultation published in AFP is available at

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