Firearms Safety - Teen Suicide

Teen Suicide 

Why safe firearm storage matters for all Utah families:

safetyProtecting your family involves more than keeping them safe from accident or attack.

86% of firearm deaths in Utah are suicides.

That’s more than homicides, legal intervention, and accidental shootings combined.

Although most people at risk for suicide show warning signs that may alert you to the crisis, sometimes warning signs are missed by or intentionally hidden from family members.

To be on the safe side you can keep firearms locked up year round, though this won’t help if you or someone else with access to the firearm becomes at risk of suicide. It is important to be alert to the signs of a crisis so that you can take steps to keep safe.

For warning signs that someone may be thinking of suicide, click here.

How to recognize a crisis and keep your loved one safe:

Putting time and distance between a suicidal person and a gun may save a life.

A suicidal crisis is often brief, but firearms are quite lethal when used in suicide attempts. Removing access to them may delay or prevent a suicide attempt or increase the chances of surviving an attempt.

For warning signs that someone may be thinking of suicide, click here.

If someone you care about is going through a painful crisis, experiencing depression, and/or showing warning signs of suicide, there are three precautions you can take:


Store guns safely and securely when not in use. Change your gun locks if necessary, and make sure the keys and combination aren’t accessible.


Lock guns and ammo separately, or don’t keep ammunition in the home at all. Ask to temporarily keep the keys to any gun of a friend who is struggling.


Temporarily store firearms off site until the situation improves, perhaps at a friend or relatives house. Gun shops and law enforcement may offer storage options.

What else to do to help a person at risk:

Take any threat of suicide seriouslyDo not leave the person aloneListen to the person and offer them support without judgementCall the Suicide Prevention Lifeline immediately at 1-800-273-TALK and visit the Get Help Page for more resources

You can also work with the person and a professional counselor to create and implement a Safety Plan by using the link here or the MY3 App.

For information about how to reduce access to prescription medications, click here.

To incorporate firearm safety materials into your gatekeeper training, download these materials (coming soon)


Click here to see additional PSA and here for a training video