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‘Gun shop projects’ for suicide prevention in the USA: current state and future directions


Objectives To describe community-driven suicide prevention partnerships between firearm retailers and public health officials (‘gun shop projects’), including common elements and challenges.

Methods We conducted qualitative interviews with leaders from state-level and national-level partnerships to determine common features, challenges and strategies used by these groups. Data were coded via theme analysis; two independent coders followed a shared codebook developed in an iterative fashion and with high inter-rater reliability.

Results Across 10 interviews, data revealed four main themes: (1) community building was a cornerstone of these efforts; (2) appropriate messaging and language were vital to successes; (3) groups employed various educational and outreach campaigns and (4) groups identified common challenges and obstacles.

Conclusions Gun shop project partnerships between firearm retailers and public health officials show promise, with thematic data demonstrating common trends and steps towards successful programme implementation. Evaluative data are needed to determine the impact of these efforts on suicide prevention in local communities.

  • suicide prevention
  • firearms access
  • community engagement

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