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Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns: how physicians contributed to policy change
  1. Joshua S Ng-Kamstra1,
  2. Jason Lajoie2
  1. 1 Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, Alberta, Canada
  2. 2 Department of English Language and Literature, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario, Canada
  1. Correspondence to Dr Joshua S Ng-Kamstra, Department of Critical Care Medicine, University of Calgary, Calgary, AB T2N 1N4, Canada; josh.ngkamstra{at}


Physicians played a key role in advancing Canada's recent assault weapons ban. Indeed, after announcing the ban in May 2020, the Trudeau government thanked Dr. Najma Ahmed and the group Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns (CDPG) for their support of responsible gun control measures. In this piece, we explore the context in which CDPG was formed, the strategies used by the group in building nationwide support for gun control measures, and the public health framing of their messaging that proved critical in engendering political change. The work of CDPG holds valuable lessons for physicians seeking to engage in political advocacy by bearing witness to the harms experienced by their patients.

  • gun violence
  • firearms
  • public policy
  • public health
  • health policy

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  • Contributors JSN-K and JL drafted the manuscript, reviewed its content and approve the submitted version.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Competing interests JSN-K is an executive board member of Canadian Doctors for Protection from Guns (CDPG). The opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect those of CDPG or the authors’ institutions.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.