Gun Shop Project

Suicide Prevention: A Role for Firearm Dealers and Range Owners

Means Matter began working in 2009 on a novel project in New Hampshire to reach out to gun shops on the role that they can play in suicide prevention. The work is guided by the NH Firearm Safety Coalition, a group of mental health and public health practitioners, firearm retailers, and firearm rights advocates. The project developed materials with and for firearm retailers and range owners on ways they can help prevent suicide. Its objectives are to:

  • Share guidelines on how to avoid selling or renting a firearm to a suicidal customer
  • Encourage gun stores and firing ranges to display and distribute suicide prevention materials tailored to their customers

57% of the gun shops in New Hampshire are disseminating the materials, and 77% support the role of gun shops in suicide prevention according to visits to half of shops in 2020. And the project is now nationwide

The project disseminated materials aimed both at reducing suicides involving recently-purchased firearms as well as existing household firearms. (Materials include a poster, brochure, and tip sheet, below.) Our role in the coalition has been as research partner to study the issue, to survey the gun shop owners before and after the campaign (to solicit input and measure impact– over half of the commercial gun shops in the state were interviewed beforehand, and all were visited afterward), and to develop the materials for the campaign (with the exception of the video, which others took the lead on).

Discussions with gun owners in the coalition and dealers around the state were invaluable; we are seeking funding to provide technical assistance to other suicide prevention groups around the country who express interest in starting up similar projects. For more information about this project including links to the poster and brochure shown below please visit the NH Firearm Safety Coalition website or contact us.

Statewide Program Links + Contact Information

NEW HAMPSHIRE: Firearm Safety Coalition 

OHIO: Life Side Ohio and The Ohio Suicide Prevention Foundation

COLORADO: Colorado Firearm Safety Coalition

NEW YORK (1): Putnam County Suicide Prevention Task Force

NEW YORK (2): Ulster County SPEAK: Suicide Prevention, Education Awareness and Knowledge 

VIRGINIA: Lock and Talk

  • Lock and Talk Website
  • Contact: Rebecca Textor,, Jordan Brooks,

WASHINGTON: Safer Homes, Suicide Aware


Gun Shop Poster


gunshopbrochurecover (gun_shop_brochure_cover.jpg)

Tip Sheet