First, let’s address a big issue. Suicide. It’s a horrible thing when someone loses all hope and decides that ending their life is the only way out. If you’re currently feeling that way, STOP READING THIS! Call the National Suicide Helpline at:
Now for the rest of the post:
I heard about this group on the Assorted Calibers Podcast (BTW, one of the podcasts that I give money for content – and you should too). Hold My Guns is working to help reduce suicide by giving gun owners a safe place to store their firearms if they’re going through a rough patch. Why is this important? Because those of us who are in the RKBA fight know that two-thirds of so-called “gun deaths” are suicides. The dirty, little secret? Gunnies are often afraid to get mental health because they’re worried that they will have their weapons taken away. AND IT’S A VALID CONCERN BASED ON WHAT SEVERAL PROFESSIONAL ORAGANIZATIONS AND GOVERNMENT AGENCIES HAVE STATED/DONE BEFORE.
We need to help each other. Hold My Guns is an excellent step in that direction. Throw them some shekels (if you have any to spare.
From the website, to give you some context:
The suicide of a family friend was the catalyst for founding Hold My Guns (HMG). She was 18. After her death, heartbroken friends and family asked me, a youth rifle league volunteer instructor and certified Range Safety Officer (RSO), what can be done to help support gun owners and their family members during acute bouts of depression. Many asked why those who are suffering from an acute bout of mental illness (which can happen to anyone!) don’t simply give a firearm to a friend for safe-keeping – yet this is not always practical or legal. Solving the need for professional, legal, off-site firearms storage became my mission.
Over half of the suicides in the United States utilize a firearm. Taking a break from firearms during a mental health crisis seems wise, and is often advised by well-meaning individuals, yet it’s not as simple as it sounds and may even be illegal in some cases. In the state of Pennsylvania, for example, a gun owner cannot simply give a handgun to a friend for safe keeping. The friend must first have a license to carry. Even if the friend has a license to carry, they may not have adequate storage that secures the firearm from unauthorized use or damage. Further more, even if the friend has a license to carry and storage capabilities, they may not be someone who will respect the privacy of their friend. While some folks may have friends and family who meet these requirements, not everyone does.
It was important to me that the solution was not only a practical option, but also one that protected the individuals Second Amendment rights. Too often, gun owners are concerned about losing firearms rights and they avoid getting care out of fear of being asked about firearms by providers who do not understand the first thing about firearms or gun culture. Yet, unchecked concerns can escalate into interventions that endanger firearms rights such as involuntary commitment, “Red Flags”, and PFAs. It may feel like being in between a rock and a hard place: both in need of care but afraid to lose rights and firearms. In that vein, the solution needed to be voluntary, and one that empowered individuals to proactively seek the help they needed before private situations escalated into public ones. This proactive, supportive approach provides an option for distance from lethal means, while creating a pathway for trusted care, and helps to avoid interventions that can result in the confiscation of rights and property.