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  • Author
    John Hoang
  • Co-author

  • Title

    The Gun Shop Project: Do Firearm Retailers Have a Role in Suicide Prevention?

  • Abstract

    A diverse coalition of firearm rights advocates and public health professionals developed and mailed suicide prevention materials to (1) increase awareness among firearm retailers and (2) promote off-site gun storage practices as a strategy to decrease suicide deaths.  A qualitative survey instrument was designed to (1) obtain feedback on materials, (2) assess current perspectives on the role of gun shops in suicide prevention, and (3) assess the firearm storage capacity for customers that are at higher risk for suicide. Over half of the gun shops (57%, N=12) had at least one of the materials on display. Nearly two-thirds reported a capacity to store firearms (64%, N=18). Over three-quarters (77%, N=20) supported firearm retailers having a role in spreading awareness about suicide prevention.  There is tremendous potential for the promotion of firearm retailers to provide off-site storage for customers. Voluntary suicide prevention strategies that involve the collaboration of both gun advocates and health professionals are promising given our findings that most retailers have maintained positive attitudes about gun shops promoting suicide prevention.

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