Gun retailers as storage partners for suicide prevention: what barriers need to be overcome?

Inj Prev. 2019 Sep;25(Suppl 1):i5-i8. doi: 10.1136/injuryprev-2017-042700. Epub 2018 Feb 7.


Introduction: Safe storage of guns outside the household while someone is at risk for suicide is important for suicide prevention. Some gun retailers offer temporary firearm storage as a community resource. Others may be willing if perceived barriers can be addressed.

Methods: We invited all gun retailers in eight Mountain West states to respond to a questionnaire about the barriers they perceive in offering temporary, voluntary gun storage for community members.

Results: Ninety-five retailers responded (25% response rate). Fifty-eight percent believed federal laws make it harder to store guns and 25% perceived state laws to be obstacles. Over 60% cited legal liability in storing and returning guns as barriers. Other important barriers included cost, space and logistical issues of drop off and pick up.

Conclusions: Strategies to reduce legal and other barriers will need to be addressed to better engage gun retailers as a community resource for safe gun storage.

Keywords: firearm; legislation; suicide/self?harm; surveys.

Publication types

  • Research Support, N.I.H., Extramural

MeSH terms

  • Accident Prevention / legislation & jurisprudence
  • Accident Prevention / methods*
  • Accidents, Home / prevention & control*
  • Cooperative Behavior
  • Family Characteristics
  • Firearms / statistics & numerical data*
  • Humans
  • Interinstitutional Relations
  • Law Enforcement
  • Northwestern United States
  • Protective Devices / statistics & numerical data*
  • Safety
  • Southwestern United States
  • Suicide Prevention*
  • Wounds, Gunshot / prevention & control*