Protecting your family involves more than keeping them safe from accident or attack.
86 percent of firearm deaths in Utah are suicides. That’s more than homicides, legal intervention, and accidental shootings combined.
Suicide is a serious issue. Utah ranks fourth in the nation in suicide deaths. Last year alone, 562 Utahns died of suicide and that number doesn’t even account for attempts. The death rate goes way up when a firearm is used.
Putting time and distance between a suicidal person and a gun may save a life. Here are three precautions to remember when a family member shows warning signs of suicide:
Lock. Change the locks on your guns and make sure they can’t find the keys or combination.
Limit. Lock guns and ammo separately, or don’t keep ammunition in the home at all until your family member has recovered.
Remove. This is the best safety measure. Store firearms off site temporarily, perhaps at a trusted friend or relative’s house. Under Utah’s Safe Harbor law, a gun owner or spouse can also store their firearms free of charge with law enforcement if they believe someone at home is a danger to themself or others. Some gun shops may also be able to help.
Gun-owning families can bring down the number of firearm suicides, and we can do it without government mandates. Together, we can protect our family, our friends, and our freedom.