Sending Office: Honorable Julia Brownley
Cosponsor the Gun Suicide Prevention Act (H.R. 4271)
Supported by: American Association of Suicidology, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence
I write to request your support for the Gun Suicide Prevention Act (H.R. 4271), which addresses the alarming rate of suicide by firearm, particularly among veterans. Disturbingly, in 2017, suicides reached a 50-year high. This bill would require firearm
manufacturers and retailers to include warning labels that provide the number of the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline.
An often-overlooked element of the gun safety debate is the role of guns in suicides. Two-thirds of gun deaths in the U.S. are from suicides. Meanwhile, half of deaths by suicide are gun deaths, despite firearms only being used in 5% of suicide attempts.
The sky-high 85-95% lethality rates of guns is what sets them apart from other suicide methods. We also know that 75% of those who survive a suicide attempt never attempt again, but most individuals that attempt suicide by gun never get this second chance.
Notably, according to a recent
study in the Journal of the American Medical Association, there is a direct correlation between a county’s suicide rate and the number of stores that sell firearms there, for all but the most rural counties. All of this data points to a clear issue that
we must confront.
Veterans are particularly at risk of dying when attempting suicide, largely because they are far more likely than their civilian counterparts to use a gun in a suicide attempt. Nearly 70% of veteran suicide deaths are the result of a firearm. Women veterans
are especially at risk, as the suicide rate of women veterans is nearly twice the suicide rate of non-veteran women.
Suicide ideation can be a fleeting impulse, one that can be alleviated by making a connection with another person when an individual is in crisis. The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can provide that connection for people and being reminded of the number
in a moment of crisis can be all it takes to save a life.
Under this legislation, the new, required warning label will read: “WARNING: IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE, PLEASE CALL THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE AT” followed by the toll-free number, currently 800-273-8255 (TALK).
I urge you to help me take a stand to save lives. If you are interested in co-sponsoring or need additional information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 5-5811.
Member of Congress
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