Suicide: NSSF Efforts to Prevent Self-Inflicted Harm


Suicide is an uncomfortable subject to talk about. Sadly, many who would like to see citizens disarmed politicize suicides in which a firearm was the method of death used by the decedent. Not only does this diminish the profound sadness of the act and hide the roots of the problem, it also causes many gun owners to become defensive when the topic is brought up.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the US-based firearms industry trade association, announced a partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention in its Project 2025. Project 2025 began in the fall of 2015 with the goal of reducing suicides by 20% during the following 10 years.

“The firearms industry has long been at the forefront of successful accident-prevention efforts and programs aimed at reducing unauthorized access to firearms,” ┬ásaid Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF President and CEO. “Since two-thirds of all fatalities involving firearms are suicides, we are now also in the forefront of helping to prevent these deaths through our new relationship with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.”

Guns do not cause suicides. Nevertheless, firearms are a method chosen for self-infliction of harm by many people. If gun owners and retailers can become better educated about suicide and the signs that someone is suicidal, we may be able to save the lives of some people.

In addition to participating in Project 2025, the NSSF also is the spearhead behind Project ChildSafe and the Don’t Lie for the Other Guy programs. The organization also sponsors the SHOT Show every year.

Richard Johnson

An advocate of gun proliferation zones, Richard is a long time shooter, former cop and internet entrepreneur. Among the many places he calls home is


  • TheNotoriousIUD

    Somehow get Drake to stop making music.
    That should save a few lives.

    • Major Tom

      While we’re at it, yank Bieber off the air too. That’ll save at least a few more.

      • Hinermad

        Aren’t both Drake and Bieber from Canada?

        I’m sure there’s a joke in there somewhere.

        • They do both have beady little eyes and flapping heads.

          • 3of11

            and they’re not even a real country, anyway.

  • TechnoTriticale

    If you know what meds acquaintances are on, look up the warnings (esp. Black Box) and see if suicide is one of them. They don’t put that in the fine print of the Drug Facts foldout just because the lawyers think it’s a perfunctory precautionary. For whatever folks are dealing with, explore alternatives that don’t involve pharmas.

    If you know anyone following a vegan or vegetarian diet, politely inquire as to how they are supplementing around crucial micronutrient deficiencies that can have self-destructive neurological consequences. These folks often die prematurely, of very weird things, and not uncommonly suicide. We don’t hear much about it in the present context because they are also much less likely to be firearms owners.

    • Jai S.

      I’m going to need a little more context on those crucial micronutrients.

  • Bill

    I thought I was up on such things, but have never heard of the AFSP.

    I can’t count the number of suicides I’ve heard of at rental ranges and gunshop parking lots. If I was in the biz, it would be near the top of my contingency management plans and I would have had a long chat with my attorney and insurance carrier.

  • BattleshipGrey

    Some people can be very resolved and calm about their decision to end their life and give very few clues about their plan. Japan has had a high suicide rate despite extreme gun control. So while this effort isn’t a complete waste of time I doubt it’ll change much.

  • Edeco

    Due to projecting my own former flaws onto others (ha!), I think the solution is cultural, and on a happy note, that to a large extent it is happening kind of on its own. Culture in general, not just gun culture. Compared to the 1950’s we have time, communication tools, understanding, perspective, more beneficially adapted values.

  • No not at all——

  • JumpIf NotZero

    No. Bloomberg groups are primarily Everytown for Gun Safety, Mayors Against Illegal Guns, and Moms Deman Action (even if it’s the wrong action, and bonus points for having “for the children” fallacy right in the name).

  • jamezb

    Oh, no.. NSSF is the foundation representing the shooting industry itself! It is a trade association, and a highly regarded one at that.

    • jamezb

      You’re thinking of…um…..
      … Phil W., what is he thinking of…?

  • Jim_Macklin

    If you or any other person wants to commit suicide, there is no 100% way to prevent it. Plastic bags, aspirin, cars, tall buildings, electricity, just to name a few.
    But if you’re a gun owner with some issue that makes you feel that suicide is the only option you have may I suggest a 20 foot length of 1/8 inch steel cable, perhaps vinyl covered such as used on garage doors. Use a cable clamp to make a loop on each end.
    Attach one end to a 30 foot or taller bridge over a river and the other end around your neck,
    Jump, your head will be removed and your headless body and head will fall into the river. The cable will remain. It can even be re-cycled by the next suicide.
    There will be no unsightly corpses and firearms are not involved.
    The garage door industry is not in danger.
    This is only slightly tongue in cheek.

  • The fact that suicides account for 67% of deaths involving firearms is one of the clearest indications that the true motive of gun control advocates is not their stated goal of preventing deaths or injuries inflicted with firearms; if they were truly concerned about lowering those numbers, they would be focusing their efforts on fixing our disgustingly broken health care system and reducing the public, medical, and military stigma against self-reporting mental illness and seeking treatment for it. Instead they promote laws to deny 2nd, 4th, 5th, and 7th Amendment rights to people with treatable mental and emotional conditions, which only serves to exacerbate the problem by discouraging those people from seeking treatment.

  • codfilet

    Go spend time visiting relatives in Nursing Homes (or whatever they call them now). See the people abandoned there by their families, given over to the indifferent, careless “help” of the workers , waiting to die in a drugged daze, laying in a dirty diaper, and you might have some sympathy for those who can see that there is no light at the end of the tunnel, and want to go out on their own terms, without exhausting all their assets and accounts they would rather give to their family members. I’ve known a few old guys who checked out with a gun-they could see what was waiting for them, and killed themselves while they still had access to a gun, and the ability to use it. I’m not saying I approve, but I understand.

  • RICH

    Trying to predict a suicide is about as logical as attempting to predict a traffic accident or catching a terminal illness ! We need to spend a lot more time with consoling our Vets to keep them from the suicidal tendencies that seem to be plaguing them.

  • MarcoPolo

    If you’re a legal gun-owner, you’re one of the good guys, please don’t kill yourself. But, if you must, don’t use a gun. It hurts the rest of us. Pick a different method. Please.

  • jmf552

    Suicide, riding a motorcycle without a helmet and eating at McDonald’s are ways Nature improves the gene pool. We should not interfere.

  • Sasquatch

    I hope this helps but this is also walking on thin ice. I have known people to seem perfectly sane in the head and still commit suicide. Yet some I know some who have stressful life’s, going through he’ll, have a horrific life stories and seem like someone who might be on the verge of ending it and don’t because its not an option or they find the beauty in life. I hope it helps and I hate suidside, I just don’t want it to come down to john or Jane doe can’t by a gun be cause of the way they seem and be use it the wrong manner. Agian I see the good in this we just need to be careful.

  • Cymond

    Agreed, the truly determined can’t be stopped, short of constant physical intervention and forced feeding.

    On the other hand, a firearm has a very high percentage chance of making an attempt into a success.
    I also suspect a gun is a lot faster and less painful than other methods, or at least easily accessible methods, albeit far worse for the surviving friends & family.