Gun Shops Make Efforts to Curb Suicides

Feb 2013

A gun is one of the most widely used methods of committing suicide, and not just among people who own guns. Tragically, there have been many instances of suicidal individuals going to gun shops or shooting ranges that rent weapons and committing suicide on site. One gun shop, Target Sports Shooting Range, which has been the site of two successful suicides and one attempted suicide since September, has now changed its policy to help prevent suicides.  Local officials are also looking for other solutions as well to help curb the problem.

Death by suicide is always tragic, no matter how it occurs.  Suicide attorney Skip Simpson believes that everyone needs to come together to spot signs of suicide and to prevent those who are suicidal from taking the final step to end their lives. While therapists and mental health professionals are often in the best position to prevent suicide from occurring, the efforts made by the gun shop and the change in policy may stop people from getting access to guns and hopefully help to save at least some lives.

Suicides at the Gun Shop or Shooting Range

According to  The Detroit News, Target Sports is a shooting range located in Royal Oak that allowed visitors to the range to rent weapons. Unfortunately, some visitors came to the range with the specific intent of renting a gun to end their lives. While the two suicides and one attempted suicide since September have made headlines in recent months, they are not the only suicides to have occurred at Target Sports. In fact, since 2001, there have been a total of five successful suicides and two attempts there.

The multiple suicides in recent months, however, have prompted city officials, including the mayor, to seek solutions to the problem. Gun shop staff and the RoyalOak Task Force will be working together, looking for solutions and considering what other shooting ranges have done in an attempt to solve the problem.

One change has already been made at the range in an attempt to curb suicide attempts. The new policy at Target Sports is that no one may rent a weapon or time at the gun range any more unless they already have their own weapon. This will hopefully discourage people who believed that the shooting range had provided easy access to guns they could use to end their lives.

A nonprofit organization, Common Ground, has also reached out to Target Sports in order to offer mental health first aid training, suicide prevention material to post at the range, and a crisis response team. Hopefully, their efforts will be able to reach people who come to the gun range with suicidal intentions.

City Commissioner Peggy Goodwin also indicated that raising awareness of suicide will be important since many people are unaware that suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States. The Commissioner expressed concern that many people are not seeking help, and tragically this is a very valid concern.

If you lost a loved one to suicide, contact the Dallas Law Offices of Skip Simpson, dedicated to holding mental health counselors accountable. Call  214-618-8222.

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