Child firearm suicide is a gun violence crisis. It is also frequently preventable. Child suicides are often undertaken impulsively, with unlocked firearms they find at home. Because guns are more lethal than any other method of suicide, a child who attempts suicide with a gun is likely to die; approximately 90% of gun suicide attempts end in death. But when children can’t access guns in their moment of crisis, they are much less likely to die—even if they attempt suicide by another method.
Access to a gun during a period of crisis is often the difference between life and death. Approximately 90% of people who attempt suicide with a gun will die. In contrast, over 90% of those who attempt suicide by other methods will live, and they are unlikely to attempt suicide again. This is not because gun users are more suicidal, or more mentally ill. It is because guns are more lethal than any other method of self-harm.
America is in the midst of a firearm suicide epidemic. But preventing a suicidal person’s access to firearms can save their life. Extreme risk protection orders—also called gun violence restraining orders—enable courts to temporarily prohibit a person from having guns if law enforcement or immediate family members show that he poses a significant danger to himself or others.
“Concealed carry reciprocity” would override state standards for the carrying of concealed, loaded handguns. Legislation before Congress (H.R. 38 and S.446) would not create a national standard—but instead would force each state to accept the standards of all other states, including those with much lower or even no standards at all.