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White House unveils plan to reduce gun-related suicides in U.S.

White House unveils plan to reduce gun-related suicides in U.S.
Officials said the plan makes it easier for Americans to obtain secure gun storage and safety devices. Also part of the plan is improving guidelines for federal firearms dealers and educating buyers about safety and security. File Photo by Brian Kersey/UPI | License Photo

Nov. 2 (UPI) -- The White House announced on Tuesday new steps to prevent suicides in the United States with the use of firearms, including safe gun storage and greater education on mental health.

Officials cited a study that says a person is 60% less likely to die in a firearms-related suicide if the gun owner constantly keeps the weapon locked or unloaded.

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"The agencies will work together to identify, develop and test any tailored messaging, and they will base their activities on expert guidance, including from suicide prevention experts and law enforcement professionals and data," the White House said in a statement.

Officials said the plan makes it easier for Americans to obtain secure gun storage and safety devices. Also part of the plan is improving guidelines for federal firearms dealers and educating buyers about safety and security.

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"These actions build on the Biden administration's previous gun violence prevention actions," the White House added. "Earlier this year, the Justice Department issued model extreme risk protection order legislation for states.

"The president continues to urge Congress to pass an appropriate national 'red flag' law, as well as legislation incentivizing states to pass their own versions of these laws."

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In June, the Justice Department unveiled model legislation for states to create "extreme risk protection orders," or "red flag" laws, to prevent guns from ending up in the hands of people who pose a danger to themselves or others.

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The proposal authorizes courts to temporarily prevent dangerous owners from accessing guns and allows family members or police to intervene.

The White House also said Tuesday that it's making new efforts to prevent suicide among military veterans. The strategy will be implemented through the Pentagon and the departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, Justice Department and Veterans Affairs.

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