Determining Who Military Service Members Deem Credible To Discuss Firearm Safety For Suicide Prevention

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Objectives; To examine rankings of credible sources for discussing secure storage within a representative sample of firearm-owning service members, and examine how combinations of demographic variables impact the ranking of credible sources.

Methods; The probability-based sample was collected with the help of Ipsos. Participants were US service members who owned a firearm at the time of the survey (n = 719).

Results; The total sample ranked service members, Veterans, and members of law enforcement as the most credible sources and faith leaders, casual acquittances, and celebrities as the least credible sources. Black men ranked the NRA as a highly credible source whereas Black females ranked the NRA as one of the least preferred sources. Regardless of political preference, those who lived in non-metropolitan rural environments ranked members of law enforcement as highly credible sources. Those who lived in non-metropolitan rural and urban settings and identified as liberal ranked the National Shooting Sports Foundation as a highly credible source.

Conclusions; Law enforcement officers, military members, and Veterans are ranked as highly credible sources by most subgroups of firearm-owning service members. Leveraging these voices in firearm safety conversations is necessary, may increase adherence to secure storage recommendations, and ultimately reduce suicide.

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Suicide and Life-Threatening Behavior

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