Wisconsin Program Asks Gun Stores To Hold Weapons To Prevent Suicides

AP Photo/Andrew Selsky, File

The subject of suicide is a tough one for the gun community. We here at Bearing Arms know that all too well considering our history.

For those of us in the gun community as a whole, one thing we need to be cognizant of is the fact that so many “gun deaths” are really suicides–roughly two-thirds, to be exact. That means reducing suicides will actually take the wind out of the gun grabbers’ sails, to say nothing of saving people’s lives.

The thing about someone killing themselves, though, is that it’s generally not a spur-of-the-moment decision. People tend to think about it for a little while before they do it. Often, it scares them.

For many, they don’t want to seek help for fear of somehow losing their guns permanently. However, there has to be a way they can avoid that without risking themselves.

Now, a program in Wisconsin is seeking to offer an alternative.

A program in Wisconsin is trying to give veterans a safe place to store their guns in a time of crisis.

The Gun Shop Project and Safe Storage Program works with Wisconsin gun shops and ranges to provide support to the gun owner community.

Twelve gun shops in the state have a safe for people to use so far.

“It’s not to take away their weapon. It’s just to leave it here until things get cleared up on a personal level,” Steve D’Orazio said.

D’Orazio is the owner of Max Creek Outdoors in Oregon, Wisconsin. He has had a gun safe at his gun shop for more than a year.

“I hope it would give them a peace of mind, knowing it’s here in a secure building. We don’t judge by any means. If they want to talk we’re here to listen,” D’Orazio said.

The safe gives veterans, and anyone else that needs it, a place to bring their guns if they are in a poor mental state. D’Orazio will store it for as long as needed at no cost.

This doesn’t mandate anything.

The only downside I can think of is that I’d imagine you’d still have to fill out a 4473 and get a background check to get your guns back when you’re ready for them–I don’t know for certain, but I’d guess that the stores would have to record the weapons for ATF purposes, which would require them doing this to give them back–but as they’re already your weapons, I don’t think that would be impossible to deal with.

Frankly, folks, if you’re feeling like you want to take your own life and one of these programs exists in your state, take advantage of it. Ignoring any political aspects, your family deserves to have you around for a good, long time. You can’t do that if you take your own life.

As bad as it seems, suicide isn’t an answer. It’s a permanent solution to a temporary problem, and it’s the wrong solution. Contrary to what may be going through your head, your family and friends won’t be better off without you. No one will.

But before you get to that point, you can take some steps to help minimize the risk. Hand your guns over to a store, if possible. If not, hand them over to a trusted friend. I’ve held guns for people until they were ready for them back before and I’ll gladly do so again.

Programs like this may well save lives. Yes, people can find other ways to commit suicide, but the act of taking one’s guns somewhere else can program the brain to believe they’ve done away with the methods. That’s a big win.

Every state needs a program like this.

Until then, if you’re feeling suicidal, please call that National Suicide Hotline at 1-800-273-8255.