February 7, 2023
Firearm Industry Committed to Veteran Suicide Prevention Ahead of State of the Union Speech
WASHINGTON, D.C. — NSSF®, The Firearm Industry Trade Association, is committed to reducing suicide – particularly suicide of America’s military veterans – that will be highlighted as part of President Joe Biden’s State of the Union to the nation tonight.
The White House released a Vision to Advance Progress on Unity Agenda in Year Ahead, which underscored the Biden administration’s pledge to reduce veteran suicides. This is a topic upon which the firearm industry is in agreement and is diligently working in complementary efforts to reduce the instances of veteran suicide.
NSSF, on behalf of the firearm industry, launched a partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) in 2016, to confront and reduce these tragedies. The firearm industry recognizes that about 55 percent of firearm deaths are suicides and preventing access to lethal means is a crucial factor in reducing this figure. Keeping firearms securely stored puts space between the period of risk and the means to act, and sometimes that space can help save a life.
The firearm industry’s Project ChildSafe® fulfills a vital role in this effort to ensure firearms are inaccessible to those who should not possess them, including unsupervised children, prohibited individuals and those who may be suffering a mental health crisis. NSSF has partnered with 15,000 law enforcement agencies in all 50 states and five U.S. territories to distribute over 40 million free firearm safety kits, which include firearm locking devices. NSSF encourages all gun owners to secure firearms when not in use to prevent them from being accessible to those who cannot be trusted to possess them.
That partnership with AFSP was extended to include the Department of Veterans Affairs and resulted in a Secure Firearm Storage Toolkit designed to help prevent suicide among U.S. Veterans. The toolkit guides communities through the process of building coalitions to raise awareness about securely storing firearms when not in use.
NSSF is devoted to this goal of reducing suicide, especially to those who have served to protect our nation’s freedoms. That is why NSSF supported portions of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act that invested resources into mental health, including youth and school-based health services.
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.