Military suicide policy would try to remove personal firearms

By STARS AND STRIPES Published: October 7, 2012

Military suicides on the whole are rising and with privately owned firearms accounting for nearly half of all the deaths, officials at the Pentagon and Congress are attempting to enact policies that would potentially separate the at-risk human and the weapon, according to a report in The New York Times.

If a servicemember is identified as a suicide risk a commander has the ability to confiscate their military firearm, but the effectiveness of the precaution is dwarfed in significance by the Defense Department statistic that more than 6 of 10 military suicides are committed by a firearm.

The crux of any new policy, which is only loosely described by sources in the story, would be balancing better suicide prevention with the interests of gun rights advocates.

One amendment in particular touches on mental health professionals being able to ask those at risk for suicide about their personal firearms. The story quotes a spokesman for the NRA as saying the inquiry would be OK, but not any subsequent confiscation.

Source: The New York Times

A Marine practices a speed reload at the pistol range in Omega, Ga., April 28, 2009.


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