How One Gun Store Tackles Gun Deaths

( – A gun store owner in Pennsylvania is doing something unique about “gun deaths” in America. Josh Rowe is a veteran, and the owner of Allegheny Arms and Gun Works, and he is concerned about his fellow gun owners who may be going through a mentally or emotionallly hard time.

Rowe described looking at the statistics for what the media refers to as ‘gun deaths’ more deeply and feltobligated to take action. He said among the deaths are a large number of suicides, especially among veterans. Rowe himself has lost friends and relatives to gun-related suicides. Most recently his uncle, who Rowe described as the “life of the party,” took his own life while at home in Phoenix, Arizona. He said his uncle’s death was particularly shocking because he was always traveling and always seemed in fine spirits.

Rowe notes that when a person has the thought of suicide, a gun that’s easily accessible in the home increases the odds of that person attempting and succeeding in doing it. Rather than lamenting these statistics and throwing up his hands, Rowe has found an effective way to offer help before a person makes such an attempt.

Rowe offers anyone who comes into his store a service called ‘Hold My Guns’ which does exactly as its name suggests. Anyone can come in with firearms and one of the employees at Rowe’s store will simply ask them how many guns they’d like them to store and then collect a $20 deposit. Once the guns are signed in, Rowe will hold on to them for as long as the owner likes with no questions asked.

The idea behind this program is to help someone when the thoughts of suicide may begin to enter their mind and they can remove the weapons from being easily accessible and create time and opportunity to work through their issues. Ideally, they’d seek help and retrieve the guns when they’re in a better state of mind and feel it’s safe to have them back in the house. Rowe is the first gun store owner to offer this service in Pennsylvania but not the only one in the country, he hopes others will do the same and help to lower the ever-growing suicide numbers.

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