New Hampshire is home to many wonderful things, including the often quoted State Motto “Live Free, or Die.” It’s a bold libertarian statement that can sometimes seem at odds with the ways and laws of the population. Many of its residents are moderates and more and more left leaning, so it may come as no surprise to find out that the State has a very progressive Suicide Prevention Outreach Program inside of its very active firearms community.
The “Gun Shop Project” is a grass roots program that was started by two men who were shocked by the numbers of suicides inside the community of gun owner in their state. They began the project over a decade ago, quite literally by going door to door.
“Demicco, Frank and other Gun Shop Project members traveled to gun stores around New Hampshire, handing out posters and cards that describe signs of suicidal behavior, and talking to employees about how to avoid selling a firearm to someone who could be suicidal.”
The program is now part of the New Hampshire Firearms Safety Coalition which has very little presence online, but is well acknowledged as active and important at the local level. According to a recent article, half of the gun shops in New Hampshire participate in the project in one way or another.
The New Hampshire program is a great example of motivated grass roots activists utilizing resources provided by mental health professionals, such as the Suicide Prevention Lifeline at the national level to help people in their area.