NSSF, Project ChildSafe Support Suicide Prevention Month with Resources for All Gun Owners
NEWTOWN, Conn. – As suicide prevention groups mark Suicide Prevention Month by calling for prevention to become a national priority during the COVID-19 pandemic, the firearm industry is supporting that effort by educating the public – particularly the gun-owning community, including veterans and their families – on how storing firearms responsibly and simply talking to loved ones can mean the difference between a life saved and a tragedy.
“It is a fact that suicide is preventable, and securing firearms is one of the most important steps gun owners can take to protect those at risk of suicide,” said Joe Bartozzi, National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) President and CEO.
NSSF, the firearm industry trade association, has partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) since 2016. Recognizing that nearly two-thirds of all firearms deaths are suicides and that half of all suicides in the U.S. are by firearm, NSSF took action by partnering with experts in the suicide prevention field. Around the same time, AFSP launched “Project 2025,” which seeks to reduce the rate of suicide by focusing on primary care settings, emergency departments, the gun owning community and correction systems.
As COVID-19 continues to elevate levels of stress, anxiety and uncertainty, NSSF is also marking Suicide Prevention Month by sharing educational resources for gun owners and veterans:
“In addition to storing firearms securely, we’ve learned one of the most important things anyone can do if they’re worried about a friend or loved one is to talk to them,” Bartozzi says. “It’s okay to have a brave conversation and ask them directly about suicide. The experts tell us that asking about it won’t put the idea in their head, or cause them to act. In most cases, they’ll feel relieved someone cares enough about them to bring it up.”
Anyone experiencing a crisis, or concerned about the safety of a friend or loved one, is urged to contact any of the following resources:
National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-TALK (1-800-273-8255)
Veterans Crisis Line: Call 1-800-273-8255 and press “1”.
Lifeline Chat: https://suicidepreventionlifeline.org/chat/
Crisis Text Line: Text TALK to 741741
About Project ChildSafe
The National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association of the firearms industry, launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (originally as Project HomeSafe). Since then, the program has provided more than 38 million free firearm safety kits and gun locks to firearm owners in all 50 states through partnerships with thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country. That’s in addition to the more than 70 million free locking devices manufacturers have included, and continue to include, with new firearms sold since 1998. While helping to prevent accidents among children is a focus, Project ChildSafe is intended to help adults practice greater firearm safety in the home. More information is available at projectchildsafe.org.
NSSF is the trade association for the firearm industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen's organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.