Downey & Houghtaling Bill to Establish Suicide Prevention Training Course Clears Senate

TRENTON - The Senate and Assembly have now both unanimously approved legislation introduced by Assembly Members Joann Downey and Eric Houghtaling which would educate firearms dealers on suicide prevention.

"Every year, nearly 22,000 Americans take their own lives, including nearly 1,000 teens and children," said Downey (D-Freehold). "We need to recognize that gun violence includes suicide as well, and act quickly and decisively to confront this significant public health crisis. By educating and training firearms retailers in suicide prevention strategies, we can save lives across our state."

Under the bill (A-3896), the Attorney General, in consultation with the Commissioner of Health, would be required to establish a suicide prevention course curriculum and suicide prevention informational materials for firearm retail dealers who sell firearms or operate a firing range in this State.

“This is sensible gun legislation that promotes responsibility and helps those closest to firearms take an active role in preventing more senseless tragedies,” said Houghtaling (D-Monmouth). “We can do more to protect New Jersey families and our children from harm with stricter storage requirements and by educating sellers and their patrons. Gun violence has permeated every community in one way or another. We can put an end to it by strengthening state protocols and ensuring gun safety.”

This bill would also require the Attorney General to distribute the suicide prevention materials to each firearm retail dealer who sells firearms or operates a firing range. The informational materials would advise customers on methods to prevent firearms from being accessible to a friend or family member in crisis. A firearm retail dealer who sells firearms or operates a firing range would be required to make the informational materials available at each retail purchase counter.

The bill now proceeds to the Governor for consideration.

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