Hold My Guns is a non-profit organization that provides a way for gun owners in crisis to find legal, temporary storage for their guns with no questions asked. The founders hope their unique method will reduce the number of lives lost to suicide.
Hold My Guns, Mission to Save Lives—
Recently, Riley spoke to Hold My Guns co-founders, Sarah Joy Albrecht and Genevieve Jones on the Concealed Carry Podcast. Sarah Joy explained how the suicide death of a close friend stirred in her heart a desire to help to other gun owners in distress.
Both Sarah Joy and Genevieve are long time gun-owners, instructors and Second Amendment advocates. Through our conversation, it became clear that they understood the unique challenges to addressing suicide amongst gun owners. Their approach is unique and removes many of the barriers that keep gun owners from reaching out for help.
Suicide Prevention, Awareness and Safe Storage of Guns—
The idea of Hold my Guns (HMG) is to provide a network of Federal Firearms Licensed (FFL) gun dealers who can provide legal, temporary storage of someones firearms. The FFLs only ask basic questions so they can legally take temporary possession of the firearms, but most importantly, don't ask why. The gun owner can retrieve their firearms once the crisis has passed, or can start the process to transfer ownership if they feel like doing so.
The entire process functions similarly to a consignment agreement.
From the beginning the organization knew that a big barrier to asking for help is the stigma or legal consequences that could come from simply asking for mental health help. Would they lose their right to own a gun or lose their job in law enforcement simply for seeking help. Sarah talked about a non disclosure agreement the FFLs sign that protect the gun owner's privacy.
During the podcast, Sara mentioned that the organization is not just about protecting lives, but also protecting property. She explained how a gun owner who loses their housing and can't legally or properly store their guns could use a HMG affiliated FFL to hold their guns until they have a solution to the problem.
I believe gun advocates and those opposed to freedom have avoided the issue of guns and suicides because of its complexity. Hold My Guns is addressing the issue from many angles and the safe storage is just one.
How You Can Help—
This topic hit close to home, as I have personally lost friends to suicide and held guns for others when they were going through a crisis. Hearing about what Hold My Guns is doing for gun owners encouraged me. If you suffer from mental health issues and own guns, please seek help. If you don't have close friends, family or a pastor, you can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline (Website/Online Chat) 1-800-273-8255 or Veterans Crisis Line (Website/Online Chat) 1-800-273-8255 and Press 1 for Veterans, Service Members and Family Members.
Also, consider checking in with your friends and asking them how they really are handling the stresses of life. Be a good listener and someone they can trust. If you're concerned about a friend who owns guns, consider offering to be an emergency contact on their personal safety plan. Let them know you're concerned and love them.
Also consider providing a tax deductible donation to help the organization continue its mission.
I highly recommend watching the video stream of the interview, or listening to Season 7, Episode 3 of the Concealed Carry Podcast to hear more about Hold My Guns.