The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention represents a new opportunity to help reduce the misuse of firearms in America.
As the trade association for the firearms industry, NSSF has for more than 50 years encouraged gun owners to safely handle and securely store their firearms. Through brochures such as Firearms Responsibility in the Home, videos like Firearms Safety Depends on You, infographics such as Safe Storage Options for Your Lifestyle and our Project ChildSafe and “Own It? Respect It. Secure It” initiatives, we remind people that safely storing firearms is the No. 1 way to help prevent misuse, accidents and thefts.
Suicide prevention is not an entirely new area of involvement for NSSF. In recent years, we have worked with the Veterans Administration, the State of Utah and mental health agencies to help educate gun owners and the public on how to keep firearms safely out of reach of those who may wish to do themselves harm, as well as helping to reduce firearms accidents, already at historic low levels, even further.
What is new, however, is that our partnership with AFSP will enable NSSF to play an important role in a first-of-its-kind national effort to distribute jointly developed suicide prevention educational materials to gun owners. We’ll reach the firearms community through the help of firearms retailers and shooting ranges, which make up a portion of NSSF’s 12,000 members, along with organizations that run hunter education classes and target shooting competitions.
Our partnership holds tremendous potential to help save lives. As you can see, AFSP and NSSF are working together for a common cause.