The terms defined below will provide a better understanding of firearm injury prevention terminology used throughout the Resource Bank.



Key terms and phrasesDescription

ammunition feeding device
A firearm component that stores and delivers rounds of ammunition into the firing chamber for each shot, such as a magazine, belt, drum, or feed strip, allows for continuous firing without manually reloading the firearm.
Community Violence Intervention (CVI)An approach to reducing violence through multidisciplinary, community-centered initiatives aimed at preventing and disrupting cycles of violence or retaliation. The approach also builds relationships between individuals and community organizations to provide services and opportunities, address trauma, and improve the upstream conditions (physical, social, and economic) that can lead to violence.
community violence intervention specialistsIndividuals who respond to the scene of a shooting or incident of community violence to de-escalate the situation and provide resources to affected individuals, friends, and family.
consentConsent is an agreement between participants to engage in sexual activity. Consent should be clearly and freely communicated. Consent cannot be given by individuals who are underage, intoxicated or incapacitated by drugs or alcohol, or asleep or unconscious.
CVI EcosystemA coordinated approach involving multiple groups and programs in a community to prevent and reduce violence. It addresses the causes of violence, intervenes in potentially violent situations, and supports those affected. The goal is to create safer environments, promote positive relationships, and implement effective prevention and intervention programs.
detachable magazineA type of ammunition-feeding device that holds ammunition and can be easily inserted or removed from a firearm, allowing for quick reloading.
domestic violenceOccurs between families or people in the same household (including parents, children, siblings, and roommates) and can include IPV if romantic partners live together.  
Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) A civil order and legal measure that allows concerned individuals to request a court order to temporarily remove access to firearms from someone who may pose a significant risk of harming themselves or others.
financial or economic abuseWhen one partner controls the other partner’s ability to access, acquire, use, or maintain economic resources.
firearm frame or receiverThe central component of a firearm that houses and supports other parts, such as the barrel, trigger mechanism, and ammunition feeding device.
ghost gunsFirearms without serial numbers or other identifying markings make them difficult to trace. They are often built from kits or parts and can be obtained without background checks.
health disparitiesDifferences in health outcomes among population groups.
health equityWhen everyone has a fair opportunity to achieve good health, health equity ensures that no one is disadvantaged or faces barriers to accessing healthcare or experiencing positive health outcomes based on their social or economic circumstances.
health inequitiesHealth disparities stem from unfair and unjust systems, policies, and practices and limit access to the opportunities and resources needed to live a healthy life. They are often influenced by social, economic, and environmental factors such as income, education, access to healthcare, and discrimination.
high-capacity magazineFirearm accessory with the ability to hold a larger number of bullets than a standard magazine*, allowing a firearm to shoot more rounds without reloading and thereby potentially increasing the number of shots fired in a shorter amount of time.
*Standard magazine capacity varies across firearm models (e.g., standard AR-style magazines are 30 rounds, while many handgun magazines are 7-8 rounds) 
Hospital-Based Violence Intervention Programs (HVIPs)Interventions that work with individuals treated for firearm injuries during their hospital stay. These programs offer trauma-informed care, counseling, and social support that address individuals' social, emotional, and economic needs, reducing the likelihood of future injury.
intersectionalityThe concept is that race, class, gender, and other individual characteristics intersect, leading to unique experiences and forms of prejudice in ways that result in complex power arrangements or status hierarchies.
lethal meansAn item that, when used in a harmful act, could result in death. (e.g., firearm, sharp objects, poison).
Lethal Means Safety Counseling (LMSC)Counseling, usually by a healthcare or mental health provider, is delivered to a person at risk of suicide regarding their access to lethal means (especially firearms), intending to reduce the risk of suicide and other harms.
lethalityCounseling, usually by a healthcare or mental health provider, is delivered to a person at risk of suicide regarding their access to lethal means (especially firearms), intending to reduce the risk of suicide and other harms.
physical violenceThe intentional use of physical force with the potential to cause death, disability, injury, or harm. This can include any physical contact such as scratching, pushing, shoving, throwing, grabbing, biting, choking, shaking, hair-pulling, slapping, punching, hitting, burning, or using a weapon. 
petitionerThe person who files an Extreme Risk Protection Order (against a “Respondent”). 
protective factorsSpecific characteristics or circumstances that influence the likelihood of experiencing positive outcomes. 
psychological aggression or abuseThe use of verbal and non-verbal communication with the goal of harming another person mentally or emotionally and exerting control over another person. This can include threats of physical violence. 
Red Flag LawA commonly used term for an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO).
respondentThe person against whom an Extreme Risk Protection Order is filed (by a “Petitioner”)
right to bear armsThe legal entitlement of individuals to own and possess firearms for self-defense and other lawful purposes, as protected by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.
risk factorsThe legal entitlement of individuals to own and possess firearms for self-defense and other lawful purposes, as protected by the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution.
secure firearm storageStoring firearms to prevent unauthorized access, especially by children, individuals at risk of self-harm, or those who may use the firearms for illegal purposes. It involves using locked containers, safes, trigger locks, or other secure storage devices, ideally ones designed specifically for firearms.
semi-automatic rifleA firearm that can fire one round with each pull of the trigger, automatically reloading and readying the next round for firing.
sexual violenceAny non-consensual sexual act committed or attempted by another person without the victim’s consent or against someone unable to consent.
social determinants of healthThe social, economic, and environmental conditions in which people are born, live, work, and age. These factors can impact a person's overall health and well-being, including access to healthcare, education, housing, employment, and community support.
stalkingA pattern of repeated, unwanted attention and contact that causes fear or concern for one’s safety or the safety of someone else.
straw purchaseWhen someone legally purchases a firearm on behalf of someone not legally allowed to own or acquire it. This practice is illegal and is typically done to circumvent background checks or other restrictions.
switch or selector switchA mechanical device on a firearm that allows a choice between different firing modes, such as semi-automatic (firing one round per trigger pull) or fully automatic (firing continuously as long as the trigger is held). 
teen dating violenceWhen intimate partner violence occurs between adolescent dating partners.
transfereeA person who receives or acquires a firearm from another individual or entity. This term refers to someone who becomes the legal owner or possessor of a firearm through a transfer or purchase.
transferorA person who legally sells, gives, or transfers ownership or possession of a firearm to another individual. It refers to the person initiating the transfer of a firearm to someone else.
trauma-informed careAcknowledges the need to understand a patient's life experiences in order to deliver effective care.
upstream approachAn approach focused on addressing the root causes of issues and promoting preventive measures rather than exclusively treating the symptoms of the problem.
wraparound servicesA health care service delivery model that provides comprehensive, holistic, youth and family-driven care for physical, mental, and behavioral health issues.