COLORADO: Gun shops work with anti-suicide program

October 30, 2015

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News
Speaker:  Colorado

9News Colorado

In July 2014 the Colorado Gun Shop Project was started in rural communities across the state, areas where the rates of suicide by firearms are much higher than the national average. According to Jarrod Hindman, Violence and Suicide Prevention Section Manager for the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the project’s funding agency, “If someone is suicidal, and you can restrict their access to a firearm, which is the most lethal method of suicide attempts, that’s the crux of the change.” This project is based on a similar program in New Hampshire. Gun shop owners are provided with information about suicide warning signs and asked to post information on suicide prevention and resources and to not sell a gun to someone they think may be suicidal. They are also educated about the value of securing guns that are accessible to people who may be suicidal. Dozens of gun shops have become part of the program. In the process, heated discussions about gun control have occurred. But says Meghan Francone, suicide attempt and loss survivor and executive director of the organization, Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide, “We feel like this is not a political statement . . . “We own guns, we are a part of the gun community … But with that, we’re also responsible gun owners.”

Spark Extra! Learn more about how gun shops can help prevent suicide through materials available from the New Hampshire Gun Shop Project.