Year: 2022 Source: New York, NY: Author. (n.d.). 24 p. SIEC No: 20220973
The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) is on a mission to end suicide among those who have served, or are currently serving, in the armed forces. Suicide is complicated and tragic, but it’s also preventable  -  and safe firearm storage is an important part of suicide prevention. There is no single cause of suicide: It is the outcome of multiple contributing factors and events. However, environmental factors such as  access to lethal means increase the risk for suicide. While there are several commonly used lethal means, firearms were used in nearly half of all suicides among Americans in 2016, and nearly 70 percent of all  Veteran suicide deaths. While service members and Veterans are well-versed in the handling and secure storage of firearms, other members of their households may not be. In periods of crisis or heightened emotions, unsafe firearm  storage can increase risk. By learning and practicing safe storage practices before challenging times arise, you can reduce the risk for suicide or injury for everyone in your home. Even though there are many ways  to practice safe storage, too many Americans do not regularly secure firearms in their homes. Together, we can change that fact by spreading the word about the importance of safe storage and encouraging service members, Veterans, and their families to secure any firearm in their home. No single organization can tackle this issue alone. That’s why we developed this toolkit: to empower local leaders to take action. Our hope is that these resources help you forge strong coalitions with people committed to making safe firearm storage the norm in your community.