Create & mandate mental health safety labels for guns, their accessories & carry permits.
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Everyone who encounters a gun is at risk of harming themselves and other people. Though many people who have access to a gun may not be mentally ill, it is hard to predict when someone may experience a mental health crisis. For those who have access to a gun when distressed, impaired judgement and thinking can result in unnecessary loss of life through gun violence. Those people need to know they can choose help instead of harm.
Creating and mandating mental health safety labels for conceal carry applications, guns and gun accessories will save lives. Similar to cigarette warning labels, mental health safety labels will be eye-catching, short and comprehensive while promoting the National Suicide Prevention Hotline. An example label may include:
"Are you thinking about hurting yourself or someone else with a weapon? You're not alone. Confidential help is available for free 24/7 through the National Lifeline. 1-800-273-8255."
This label will be put in a variety of locations: inside gun cases, on gun magazines, ammo boxes, etc. Prompting someone to pause and recognize their motivation for a purchase or use of a gun and its accessories can save lives.
As a mental health professional, I understand how difficult it can be reach out for help. I also understand that the risk for suicide and homicide increase after the purchase of a gun. Often people who perpetrate gun violence or complete a suicide haven't been given opportunities to pause or think about their impulsive actions. Creating and mandating a mental health safety label doesn't stigmatize someone for their thoughts, but it does give them a choice in a difficult moment.
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