Pentagon’s Suicide Prevention Committee Recommends Age Limit and Waiting Period for On-Base Gun Purchases

April 28, 2023

News Type:  Weekly Spark, Weekly Spark News


An independent committee set up by the Pentagon recently released a report that includes 127 recommendations for preventing suicide in the U.S. military. Among them are suggestions for establishing a seven-day waiting period for gun purchases and a four-day waiting period for ammunition purchases on Department of Defense (DoD) facilities. The report, which was developed by the Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee (SPRIRC), also recommends raising the minimum age to buy firearms on bases to 25. According to Craig Bryan, a lethal means expert and SPRIRC member, “ . . . taking steps to slow down convenient access to highly lethal methods like firearms is the single most effective strategy for saving lives.” The committee, which was established in 2022 to review the DoD’s suicide prevention efforts, also recommends increasing access to mental health services. They suggest hiring more providers and increasing insurance payments to allow service members to receive mental health care outside of the military system.

Spark Extra! Read the White House strategy for reducing military and veteran suicide.