April 20, 2024
Firearm Storage

Exploring Credible Sources for Secure Firearm Storage for Suicide Prevention Among Military Service Members

A recent Rutgers Health study delved into the credibility of various sources when it comes to discussing secure firearm storage for suicide prevention among military service members. The study, published in the journal Suicide and Life-Threatening Behaviors, analyzed data from 719 U.S. service members, aiming to identify the most compelling voices within this demographic to promote secure firearm storage practices.

Michael Anestis, the senior author of the study and executive director of the New Jersey Gun Violence Research Center, emphasized the importance of understanding which sources resonate with different groups of service members to effectively encourage secure firearm storage. The research revealed that while there is no universal voice that appeals to all firearm-owning service members, certain groups are considered highly credible overall.

According to the findings, law enforcement officers, military service members, and veterans emerged as the most trusted sources for discussing secure firearm storage for suicide prevention among service members. On the other hand, celebrities and casual acquaintances were perceived as the least credible sources. Interestingly, firearm lobbying groups, firearm dealers, and other associations linked to firearm ownership and culture were not deemed as particularly credible either. These results were especially consistent among white respondents.

For individuals who identified as Black, the most credible sources included law enforcement officers, veterans, and members of the National Rifle Association. Participants of American Indian and Alaskan Native descent found firearm manufacturers, service members, and veterans to be the most credible sources. Meanwhile, Asian individuals placed high credibility on family members, service members, and veterans.

Despite the potential benefits of secure firearm storage in reducing firearm-related suicides, many military service members currently do not practice it. Allison Bond, the lead author of the study and a clinical psychology doctoral candidate at Rutgers, highlighted the urgent need to address this issue. She underscored the significance of leveraging credible sources like law enforcement officers to convey messages promoting secure firearm storage practices.

Bond reinforced the idea that a tailored approach is necessary when crafting messaging around secure firearm storage, as not all service members respond to the same sources. By highlighting voices that hold credibility across diverse racial backgrounds, efforts to promote secure firearm storage among military service members can be more effective in combatting the high rates of firearm suicides within this population.

1. Source: Coherent Market Insights, Public sources, Desk research
2. We have leveraged AI tools to mine information and compile it