CSGV Advocates for Policies to Prevent Firearm Suicide as National Suicide Prevention Week Begins

CSGV Advocates for Policies to Prevent Firearm Suicide as National Suicide Prevention Week Begins

Suicides account for nearly two-thirds of all gun fatalities; these deaths can be prevented by temporarily removing firearms from those in crisis.

Washington, DC (September 10, 2017)  — As National Suicide Prevention Week begins, the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) draws attention to an area of gun violence prevention that is often neglected: firearm suicide.

Approximately 20,000 Americans die from firearm suicide each year. Firearms account for half of all suicide deaths and are the most lethal method of suicide. More people take their lives with guns than with all other methods combined.

There is a well-established link between availability of firearms and suicide, and suicides can be prevented by temporarily removing guns from individuals in crisis. CSGV is committed to drafting, passing, and implementing policies that reduce access to deadly weapons and ensure those in crisis get the help they need.

Coalition to Stop Gun Violence Executive Director Josh Horwitz issued the following statement:

“On World Suicide Prevention Day, we are thinking of the 20,000 individuals who die from firearm suicide each year. Too often, suicide is overlooked in the gun violence prevention debate. As Suicide Prevention Week begins, CSGV is committed to drawing attention to this preventable public health crisis.

“Suicide is often an impulsive act in a fleeting moment of agony. In one study of near-lethal attempt survivors, nearly 75 percent said they deliberated for one hour or less. If a gun is readily available during these critical moments, a temporary crisis often becomes a permanent loss.

“Legislators and advocates can address firearm suicide by supporting policies like the Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO), which gives law enforcement and family members the tools to temporarily remove guns from those in suicidal crisis. Temporarily separating suicidal individuals from the most lethal method of suicide is a crucial step towards saving lives. The vast majority of those who survive an attempt do not go on to die by suicide. Suicide is preventable, and it is our responsibility to address it. We can — and must — do better.”

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