Whether directly or indirectly, your family has been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The disruptions it has caused can create many negative feelings and behavior, including the following:
- Economic stress
- Increased alcohol use
These are all risk factors of suicide, and all could be exacerbated due to the pandemic. And when firearms are thrown into the equation, it could mean disaster. That is why reducing access to firearms is so important: it could be the difference between life and death for members of your family and loved ones.
How to Reduce Firearm Suicide Risk
Simply owning a gun doesn’t make someone suicidal; however, guns are the most lethal method of suicide, so it’s important to take several steps to ensure your children are safe.
- Take apart the firearm, if possible.
- Store the firearm unloaded in a lock box or gun safe.
- Store ammunition in a different location, away from the firearm.
- Keep storage box keys or combinations away from children, especially if they are struggling with suicidal thoughts.
- Remove the firearm from the house if needed. If someone in your household, whether it’s you, your spouse, or your child, is struggling, the safest place for your firearm to be is out of your house temporarily, until the crisis is over.
- Check in with people who have access to firearms, especially family membrs or friends who your children frequently visit or those who are struggling with suicidal thoughts. Ask if their firearms are stored safely.