Congresswoman Julia Brownley (D-CA) has introduced the Gun Suicide Prevention Act or H.R. 5436. This legislation will mandate that firearms dealers hand out information for the suicide prevention hotline to those who purchase firearms.
This legislation is very strange and the only real concern that can be had with it is the language used in the press release for it.
From Congresswoman Julia Brownley’s press release:
“The epidemic of gun violence continues to plague communities throughout our country and forever changes the lives of families who have lost someone to gun death. However, the debate surrounding gun safety overlooks the role that guns play in suicide,” said Congresswoman Julia Brownley. “In fact, two-thirds of gun deaths in the United States are from suicides.
“We lose 20 veterans a day to suicide, and 70% percent of veteran suicide deaths are from a gun. As a member of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, I work very hard to better the lives of our nation’s veterans, and suicide prevention is one of our highest priorities.
“That is why I have introduced the Gun Suicide Prevention Act, which aims to combat the alarming suicide rate in our country,” continued Brownley. “By labeling every firearm with the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, we can help provide a human connection in that critical moment, which we know is a critical tool to preventing suicide.”
The Gun Suicide Prevention Act will require a new label on firearms that reads: “IF YOU OR SOMEONE YOU KNOW IS CONTEMPLATING SUICIDE, PLEASE CALL THE NATIONAL SUICIDE PREVENTION LIFELINE AT” followed by the toll-free number, currently 800-273-8255 (TALK).
This legislation doesn’t really accomplish much and has almost no burden for American gun owners or the arms industry. Perhaps you could argue that this could be used in some twisted way to punish companies that do not put a label with this information on their products and/or packaging, you could also argue that this would stigmatize gun ownership, but that’s a pretty weak argument to make.
It is rare to see a piece of gun legislation from Democrats that doesn’t violate the 2nd Amendment, good on Congresswoman Brownley.