A Suicide Prevention Campaign for Firearm Dealers in New Hampshire

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Abstract

A spate of suicides involving a just-purchased firearm led a statewide coalition of firearm dealers, firearm rights advocates, and suicide prevention professionals to discuss the role of gun shops in preventing suicide. The group developed and mailed materials for (1) firearm retailers on avoiding sales to suicidal customers and (2) their customers on suicide and firearm safety. All storefront retailers were identified (n = 65), visited unannounced 6 months after receiving materials, and asked to complete a survey. Nearly half (48%) had at least one campaign product on display. Belief that reducing a suicidal person's access to firearms might save a life was associated with displaying materials (69% vs. 41%, p = .06). Public health and gun groups can successfully collaborate on suicide prevention activities.

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