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‘Gun shop projects’ for suicide prevention in the USA: current state and future directions
  1. Evan Polzer1,
  2. Sara Brandspigel2,
  3. Timothy Kelly3,
  4. Marian Betz1,4
  1. 1Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado, USA
  2. 2Program for Injury Prevention, Education and Research, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, Colorado, USA
  3. 3Health Systems Management and Policy, Colorado School of Public Health, Aurora, Colorado, USA
  4. 4Eastern Colorado Geriatric Research, Education, and Clinical Center, Veterans Health Administration, Aurora, Colorado, USA
  1. Correspondence to Evan Polzer, Emergency Medicine, University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine, Aurora, Colorado, USA; evan.polzer{at}cuanschutz.edu

Abstract

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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Footnotes

  • Twitter @EmmyBetz

  • Funding This study was funded by Defense Suicide Prevention Office. Grand number (#47QFPA18D0004).

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Patient and public involvement Patients and/or the public were not involved in the design, or conduct, or reporting, or dissemination plans of this research.

  • Patient consent for publication Not required.

  • Ethics approval The Colorado Multiple Institutional Review Board reviewed and approved this study as exempt.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.

  • Data availability statement Data are available upon reasonable request. Data collected include deidentified participant interview transcripts. Data could be made available upon reasonable requests to the corresponding author and are not permitted to be reused.

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