July 16, 2021 Blog

New Digital Toolkit: Three Interventions To Prevent Firearm Injury And Death

In Washington state, suicide accounts for 75 percent of all gun deaths. And access to a gun increases the risk of suicide threefold. In recent years, Washington has taken action to address the crisis of firearm suicide, passing some of the strongest suicide prevention laws in the nation. 

University of Washington faculty at the Harborview Injury Prevention and Research Center have created a new digital toolkit highlighting three critical interventions to prevent gun injury and death. Washington state is the only state in the country to make each of these three tools available: 

  • Extreme Risk Protection Orders, which voters approved in 2016 through Initiative 1491, allow families, household members and law-enforcement officials to petition a judge for an order to restrict an individual’s possession and purchase of firearms when there is demonstrated evidence that the person poses a significant danger to themselves or others.
  • Washington Firearm Safe Storage Map, which helps people in crisis to identify the nearest options to temporarily store firearms, immediately making their homes safer.
  • Voluntary Waiver of Firearm Rights, which allows individuals to proactively, confidentially, and immediately restrict their own ability to buy firearms.

The toolkit is designed not only to help people in need, but also to help care providers and law-enforcement agencies support individuals who feel suicidal. It includes explainer videos for each intervention as well as downloadable fliers.

** If you or someone you know is in crisis call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: 1-800-273-8255. **  

Kristen Ellingboe is Communications Manager at the Alliance