September 7, 2022
Keeping Your Firearm Securely Stored can Help Reduce Suicide
Firearms are used in 50% of all suicides in the United States. Understanding this, NSSF, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and the U.S. Dept. of Veterans Affairs are reminding gun owners of the role they can play in reducing the rate of suicide by helping to educate friends and family members about mental health, suicide prevention and how to recognize and respond when a person is going through a difficult time.
The industry encourages secure firearm storage, providing the means to securely store firearms when not in use, and educating the public about secure storage options so that firearms are not accessible by those at risk of self-harm or harm of others.
Friends, family and fellow firearm owners are encouraged to reach out to a person they are concerned about and to ask them directly and compassionately if they are having thoughts of suicide and to encourage them to seek professional help. Talking about suicidal thoughts and showing concern will not put someone at greater risk. Firearms should be unloaded and securely locked so that a person in crisis cannot access them. The AFSP’s data shows that temporarily separating someone at risk for suicide from their firearm can significantly increase their chances of survival.
Research shows that most people in suicidal crisis who don’t have easy access to a lethal method will not seek a substitute method of self-harm. Preventing access to firearms and other lethal means allows time for both the moment of intense suicidal crisis to pass, and for someone to intervene with potentially lifesaving mental health support and resources.
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Secure Storage Options
As a gun owner, you can choose from multiple options for securely storing and protecting your firearms when they’re not in use. Use this guide to determine which mechanism best suits your lifestyle, priorities and environment.
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