Veterans for Gun Reform
Veterans for Gun Reform unites veterans in support of common-sense measures to reduce gun violence, including firearm suicides.
Veterans for Gun Reform is a nonpartisan program of Brady that unites and mobilizes America’s service members to address our country’s gun violence epidemic. We are soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines. We are liberals and conservatives. We grew up across America, in big cities and small towns. We were raised by doctors and lawyers, farmers and preachers.
As trained stewards of firearms, veterans are uniquely situated to be a part of the solution to gun violence. We were trained to run toward the sound of gunfire. And because of that, we believe that sound does not belong in cities and homes across America. Our children, friends, coworkers, and fellow citizens are dying. Every day, eight children and teens are unintentionally injured or killed in acts of family fire. And easy access to guns is killing those within our veteran community as well. On average, 17 to 20 veterans die by suicide every day, and approximately two-thirds of them do so by firearm.
We promote gun safety and safe firearm storage techniques practiced in the military that we know saves lives. We wouldn’t have carelessly left our weapons unlocked and unsecured in the military, so why is it happening at home? As veterans, we have unique gun safety experiences that can be used to unite fellow veterans to practice safe gun storage that will save lives. And while veterans may disagree on how to approach the epidemic of gun violence, we all understand the danger unsecured weapons can pose to others.
By activating the veteran community to promote gun safety nationwide, there is nothing we can’t accomplish. We work to inspire fellow veterans to advocate in their communities and use their knowledge to promote common-sense gun safety practices. We instill the need for everyday citizens to practice responsible gun ownership. We work to address and reduce the rising rates of gun violence and firearm suicide in our country.
United as veterans, we will make our families, communities, and country safer with common-sense gun safety measures. Sign up to join our movement.
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Facts that Make Us Act: Gun Suicides and Veterans
- On average, 17 to 20 veterans die by suicide every day, and approximately two-thirds of them do so by firearm.
- Over 81% of service members surveyed felt that safety measures practiced by the U.S. military, should be made a standard for national gun safety practices in the United States.
- 71% of veterans who have experienced violence by firearm outside of combat stated that it was the suicide of a friend or family member.
- 51% of all suicide fatalities are by firearm and 60% of all gun deaths are by suicide.
- Veterans surveyed are experiencing gun violence outside of combat situations at alarming rates, with over 46% answering “yes” when asked if they have experienced gun violence outside of combat.
- In 2016, firearms made up 51% of fatal suicide methods.
- 4.6 million children live in homes with access to an unlocked or unsupervised gun.
Why Veterans are Best Suited to Address Gun Safety
Before service members were handed a weapon, they went through background checks, received extensive firearms training, and stored them in secured arms rooms. These practices of gun safety are common throughout the veteran community, and we’re best positioned to utilize these practices to save lives.
There are no ‘accidental discharges’ of dangerous weapons in the military. An improperly stored weapon has the potential to fall into the wrong hands, leading to tragedy in our homes, communities, and schools. We should never tolerate improper gun safety in civilian life anymore than we did in uniform.
Multiple studies have confirmed that suicide by firearm is greatly reduced when weapons are stored in a locked container separate from their ammunition — just as we stored them in the military. As veterans, we can encourage gun owners to practice safe gun storage and store their guns locked, unloaded, and away from those who can harm themselves or others.