Political Beliefs, Region of Residence, and Openness to Firearm Means Safety Measures to Prevent Suicide

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Firearms account for approximately half of all suicides in the US and are highly lethal, widely available, and popular; thus, are an ideal candidate for targeted means safety interventions. However, despite their value as a suicide prevention tool, firearm means safety strategies are not widely utilized, possibly due to factors which impede openness to their use. This study examines the relationship between region, political beliefs, and openness to firearm means safety in a sample of 300 American firearm owners. Overall, firearm owners were more willing to engage in means safety for others than for themselves and to store firearms safely than temporarily remove them from the home. Social policy views and region were significantly associated with openness to firearm means safety measures, however, economic policy views were not. This study provides further context for the development and implementation of efficacious means safety measures capable of overcoming potential barriers to their use.

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Archives of Suicide Research

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