Our country is in the middle of a gun suicide crisis, one that is particularly acute among our veterans. The veteran suicide rate is more than twice as high as the non-veteran adult suicide rate.

Today more than 6,000 American veterans die by suicide each year, and nearly 70% of these deaths involve firearms. From 2005 to 2017, the veteran suicide rate increased by nearly 41%. We must do more to protect the veterans who risked their lives to protect us.

Our factsheet outlines ways in which we as a nation can do better. 

Research suggests that having a gun in the home triples a person’s overall risk of suicide, and nearly half of all veterans own firearms. Because 85% of gun suicide attempts end in death, when individuals in crisis reach for a gun, they rarely survive.

Gun safety laws like extreme risk laws allow families, household members, or law enforcement officers to proactively save a loved one’s life by petitioning a court for an order temporarily restricting a person’s access to guns if they are deemed a danger to themselves or others. So far, 17 states plus Washington DC have passed extreme risk laws.

By limiting access to guns among those at a proven risk of suicide, we can save thousands of American lives every year. We owe it to our veterans to ensure every state has this law.

Read more in our factsheet: Veterans and America’s Gun Suicide Crisis.