Coronavirus Anxiety Brings A Renewed Call For Gun Safety

Megan Goldsby
April 08, 2020 - 10:00 pm

There are many elements to the coronavirus crisu that have put vulnerable people at increased risk of suicide, it’s something that has gun violence prevention groups issuing a warning about weapons storage. Some sobering statistics are drawing attention to the issues of safely storing firearms.

“We saw after the SARS pandemic in China, that there was an increase in suicides, particularly among the people that were feeling the most social isolation,” said Giffords Law Center Research Manager Kelly Drane, “we also know that in the US after the Great Recession we saw nearly 5,000 additional suicides that researchers associate with that economic recession.”

Drane says recent unemployment statistics gives cause to believe that some of these patterns might repeat with the current coronavirus pandemic. 

What can be done right now in California? In extreme cases, the state does have a law that allows family to call the police and have a gun taken from their home if they believe someone is at iminant risk of suicide.

“It’s really important that we’re taking responsible measures around firearms in particular during this time,” said Drane “Storing guns safely can protect all members of the household, but particularly children and young adults that might reach for a gun that doesn't belong to them.”

Guns should be stored unloaded and locked up, a message that Drane is hoping gets to all of the new gun owners out there that were part of the ‘panic buying’ trend.