More than 20,000 Americans a year kill themselves with a gun. Alarmed gun sellers are joining the suicide prevention fight.
October 12, 2018
Gun industry members across the U.S. are teaming up with public health experts to prevent suicide. Their collaboration started in 2009, when New Hampshire gun sellers and public health advocates began working together to address firearm suicide. That effort, called the Gun Shop Project, has expanded to 10 more states, and there are similar projects in about 10 others. Hundreds of gun sellers and range owners across the country now offer prevention materials to customers and teach their staff to recognize the signs of suicide risk. Collaboration between the gun industry and public health field helps emphasize that reducing access to guns among people in crisis is an issue of safety, not restriction. “This is a new way to go about reducing suicidal persons’ access to guns—not by promoting an anti-gun agenda but by asking gun owners to be part of the solution,” said Catherine Barber, director of the Means Matter Campaign at the Harvard School of Public Health’s Injury Control Research Center.
Spark Extra! Watch our SPARK Talk on the New Hampshire Gun Shop Project.