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Firearm Violence
January 2017

Reducing Suicides Through Partnerships Between Health Professionals and Gun Owner Groups—Beyond Docs vs Glocks

Author Affiliations
  • 1Department of Health Policy and Management, Harvard Injury Control Research Center’s Means Matter Project, Harvard T. H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts
  • 2New Hampshire Firearm Safety Coalition, Concord
  • 3Riley’s Sport Shop, Hooksett, New Hampshire
JAMA Intern Med. 2017;177(1):5-6. doi:10.1001/jamainternmed.2016.6712

In a small Western town in the fall of 2015, a gun shop owner stood up at a suicide prevention conference and said that he had been approached as part of the suicide problem in the past, but this was the first time he was approached as part of the solution. He joined a fledgling movement gaining momentum around the nation that brings gun shop owners, firearm instructors, and gun rights stakeholders together with health professionals to prevent suicide. Rather than squaring off against one another—as exemplified by passage of Florida’s so-called “Docs vs Glocks” law (Fla Stat §790.338) that prohibits physicians from routinely asking patients about guns—participants jointly devise strategies to put time and distance between a suicidal person and a firearm. Seven years ago, when this work began in New Hampshire, similar projects did not exist. Today projects are under way in more than 20 states. We provide background on this work and discuss its implications for clinical care.

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