Nevada looks to gun stores for help in suicide prevention

Firearms are used in more than half of Nevada suicides.

To help reduce that statistic, the Nevada Office of Suicide Prevention looked to a New Hampshire program that educates gun store owners to identify customers who may be suicidal.

“I think it would be beneficial. How effective? We would have to wait and see,” Ron Reyes, manager at Las Vegas’ Discount Firearms and Ammo, LLC, said Thursday. “I think every range in town has experienced a situation like this.”

In December, the state office began to offer suicide awareness training to interested gun store owners, employees, and gun owners in partnership with the Nevada Firearms Coalition.

The program, launched in December, is off to a slow start. Not many store personnel in Clark County were willing to comment publicly about the program.

Nevada has the nation’s fourth-highest suicide rate, about 20.3 suicides for every 100,000 people.

In the Silver State, suicide is the sixth- leading cause of death, according to the most recent available statistics from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About 53 percent of the 547 Nevada suicides in 2010 involved firearms.

“The gun community is just one more avenue to reach out to organizations and invite them to take the training,” Richard Egan, suicide prevention training and outreach facilitator, said on Wednesday. “It’s just one more way … to utilize that community to reduce the suicide rate.”

Egan, a gun owner himself, last year began to research the New Hampshire program to replicate it in Nevada. He even expanded on New Hampshire’s model. The program in Nevada provides training on top of informational packets to participants.

During a Tuesday interview with KNPR’s “State of Nevada,” Mark Cole, gun store owner and director of the Nevada Firearms Coalition, said Nevada’s new program is something positive for the firearms industry. And by having the coalition involved, the program could have broader access to store owners, their employees and gun owners, he said.

“It gives the whole industry a better look and it shows that we are just not there for the sale, that we actually do care,” he said during the radio interview.

More than a dozen Clark County guns stores contacted by the Review-Journal this week either declined to comment or didn’t return calls.

This year, there have been seven suicides in Clark County, and two involved firearms, according to the Clark County coroner’s office. In 2013, 196 of the 388 suicides in the county involved firearms.

In 2012, there were 410 suicides in the county, and 203 involved firearms.

Under Nevada law, a person doesn’t need a permit or a license to buy a firearm, but does need to pass a federal background check.

The new program offered by the state’s Office of Suicide Prevention has two training options, one lasting four hours and a more in-depth, 16-hour choice.

In addition to learning how to identify customers who may be suicidal, participants are taught how to educate customers on firearms safety.

Some of the red flags a customer might show are signs of isolation, a lack of knowledge about what to buy and buying just a couple of bullets, Egan said.

“If the customer is not expressing a future with the gun,” it’s a red flag, he said.

Every situation is different, he said, but the training gives store owners and employees the tools to ask the right questions and refer them to resources available in the community.

Egan and Brandi McConnell, with the Office of Suicide Prevention, also attend gun shows that take place in Las Vegas to talk to gun owners about gun safety.

“The reaction is very positive,” Egan said. “They are appreciative that we are able to provide this to our community.”

Elaine Frank, chairwoman of the New Hampshire Firearms Safety Coalition, began the effort in that state to educate gun store owners about four or five years ago.

The idea started after three unrelated people bought firearms from the same shop in a five- to six-day time frame and used the weapons to commit suicide, Frank said.

Research found that about 10 percent of New Hampshire’s suicides involved a recently purchased firearm, but the story was “weird” enough that officials thought something had to be done.

Packages with various suicide awareness materials were mailed to all 65 gun stores in the Granite State. Officials followed up with a visit to all the stores and found that some 48 percent of the shops were displaying some of the suicide prevention materials. Among the feedback New Hampshire received from gun stores not participating was that the store owners felt that gun stores were being blamed for gun suicides.

At this point, it is not known how effective the program has been.

“The change, if we see it, it’s going to take a while,” Frank said Thursday.

Since the beginning of the program, the state has received inquiries from about a dozen states including Nevada, Michigan, Tennessee and New York.

Reporter Yesenia Amaro can be reached at (702) 383-0440, or yamaro@reviewjournal.com .

ad-high_impact_4
News
Group helping stranded motorists during power outage
A group of Good Samaritans are offering free gas to people in need at the Glendale AM/PM, during a massive power outage near Mesquite on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen falls at Las Vegas parade
U.S. Sen. Jacky Rosen of Nevada fell and injured her wrist at the Martin Luther King Day parade in Las Vegas on Monday, Jan. 21, 2019. (Nathan Asselin/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Tate Elementary shows academic progress after categorical funding
Students at Tate Elementary in Las Vegas has benefited from a program to boost education funding in targeted student populations, known as categorical funding. One program called Zoom helps students who have fallen below grade level in reading. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Three Square helps TSA workers
Three Square Food Bank donated over 400 care bags to TSA workers affected by the government shutdown Wednesday, filled with food, personal hygiene products and water.
Las Vegas furniture store donates to Clark County firehouses
Walker Furniture donated new mattresses to all 30 Clark County firehouses in the Las Vegas Valley, starting today with Station 22. (Mat Luschek/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Mount Charleston Gets Heavy Snow, Fog
Mount Charleston saw heavy snow today, and fog in lower elevations as a cold front swept across the Las Vegas Valley. (Benjamin Hager/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Krystal Whipple arrested in Arizona
Krystal Whipple, charged in the killing of a Las Vegas nail salon manager over a $35 manicure, is expected to return to Nevada to face a murder charge.
Holocaust survivor on acceptance
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, talks about the most important message for people to understand from her life and experiences.
Holocaust survivor speaks about telling her story
Holocaust survivor Celina Karp Biniaz, who was the youngest person on Schindler’s List, tells of opening up about her experiences during Sunday’s event at Temple Sinai.
Jesus Jara State of the Schools address
Clark County School District Superintendent Jesus Jara delivers his State of the Schools address on Friday, Jan. 11, 2019. (Amelia Pak-Harvey/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Michael Naft sworn in to Clark County Commission
Michael Naft, chosen by Gov. Steve Sisolak to be his replacement on the Clark County Commission, was sworn into office on Wednesday, Jan. 9, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
CES Opening Party in Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace
CES conventioneers packed Omnia Nightclub at Caesars Palace, and let loose as they danced to DJs into the night. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
Las Vegas police piecing together details of fatal shooting
Six hours after the fact, Las Vegas homicide detectives worked to reconstruct the scene of a shooting early Jan. 7 that left one man dead in the southeast valley. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Dyer Lawrence explains college football playoff system proposal
Las Vegan Dyer Lawrence has a new idea for a college football playoff system that includes a unique scheduling component called National Call Out Day. (Ron Kantowski/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death row inmate Scott Dozier found dead in his cell
Nevada death row inmate Scott Dozier is dead. Dozier’s death ends his legal odyssey, which began in 2007 when he was convicted in the 2002 murder of Jeremiah Miller, but does little to clarify what’s next for Nevada’s death penalty.
I-15 southbound near Primm closed after ‘major crash’
A rollover crash Saturday morning involving at least nine vehicles on southbound Interstate 15 near Primm caused an hourslong traffic delay. Traffic was backed up to Sloan, live traffic cameras show. (Rio Lacanlale/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Death Valley visitors deal with shutdown
Visitors staying at the Furnace Creek Campground were forced to move from the campground following health and safety concerns due to lack of resources during the partial government shutdown at Death Valley National Park in Calif., on Friday, Jan. 4, 2019. Richard Brian Las Vegas Review-Journal @vegasphotograph
Half of homicides in Henderson for 2018 domestic violence related
Lt. Kirk Moore of the public information office of the city of Henderson police department speaks to the Review-Journal in Henderson, Thursday, Jan. 3, 2019. Henderson saw a slight increase in homicides in the past year. (Rachel Aston/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak stops by Las Vegas Boys and Girls Club
Governor-elect Steve Sisolak kicks off his tour to Carson City, which will take him from Las Vegas, through Tonopah, and up to the capital city. First stop is the Downtown Boys & Girls Club.
Certificates for renewing wedding vows in Clark County
The Marriage License Bureau in Clark County began issuing a Certificate of Vow Renewal to married couples who are renewing their wedding vows on Jan. 3, 2019. (Shea Johnson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas flu season better than last year (so far)
Dr. Fermin Leguen, chief medical officer and director of clinical services at the Southern Nevada Health District, said there were 24 flu-related deaths at this point in the flu season. No deaths have been reported so far this year. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal) @KMCannonPhoto
The Las Vegas Valley’s First Baby of 2019
The first 2019 baby in the Las Vegas Valley was Melialani Chihiro Manning, born at 12:10 a.m. at Henderson Hospital. (Briana Erickson/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas NYE Fireworks - VIDEO
The full show: A spectacular view from the rooftop of the Trump International Hotel as 80,000 pyrotechnics illuminated the Las Vegas Strip at the stroke of midnight. Fireworks by Grucci choreographed launches from the Stratosphere, the Venetian, Treasure Island, Caesars Palace, Planet Hollywood, Aria and MGM Grand.
Snow in Henderson on New Year's Eve morning
Light snow flurries in Anthem Highlands in Henderson on Monday morning, the last day of 2018.
Sources: Henderson Constable may face more charges
Henderson Constable Earl Mitchell may face additional charges ... stemming from his spending of county funds, sources said. Mitchell was indicted earlier this month on five felony theft and fraud charges ... after a Las Vegas Review-Journal story questioned his spending. But grand jury records show even more extensive spending including ... an $800 dinner at steakhouse ... nearly 200 atm withdrawals mostly at gambling establishments ... and even Disneyland tickets. But his attorney plans to ask a judge to dismiss the charges.
Las Vegas NYE Restrictions and Enhanced Security
If you are planning to celebrate New Year's Eve on the Las Vegas Strip or Fremont Street, be aware that you are not allowed to bring backpacks, coolers, strollers or glass. There will also be an increase in security to ensure safe celebrations across town.
Catholic Charities serves up 53rd annual Christmas dinner
Catholic Charities of Southern Nevada and more than 100 volunteers served 1,000 Christmas meals to Southern Nevada's homeless and less fortunate. (K.M. Cannon Las Vegas Review-Journal @kmcannonphoto)
Henderson couple adds another school to their generosity
Bob and Sandy Ellis of Henderson, who donate to several Clark County School District schools, have added Matt Kelly Elementary in Las Vegas to their list of schools where every student gets new shoes, socks and a toy. (K.M. Cannon/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Jeffrey Martin Added To Nevada's Black Book
Martin was one of four men convicted of theft and cheating at gambling in 2016 in Clark County District Court and sentenced to prison. The Nevada Gaming Commission voted unanimously Thursday to include Martin in the black book.
Raiders Stadium Timelapse
Construction on the new Raiders stadium continues in Las Vegas.
TOP NEWS
News Headlines
Home Front Page Footer Listing
Circular
You May Like

You May Like