Stories

CONTENT WARNING

Some of the following personal stories contain content about suicide and gun violence. These stories may be harmful or traumatizing to some people.

We share these stories to normalize conversations about safe gun storage and prevent future tragedies. Awareness enables change.

The 988 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides 24/7 free and confidential support to people in suicidal crisis or mental health-related distress.

If you or someone you know is struggling or in crisis, call or text 988, or chat at 988LifeLine.org.

Tom C.
Fort Worth, texas

I was in Maryland with my fiancée, Heather. On that day we had an argument, not unlike any other that you would have with a significant other. All of the things I had been experiencing felt like too much. I snapped. I had a gun. I was going to kill myself—and likely her as well.

This story discusses Veteran Suicide, Gun Suicide, and Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Tom C.

Reba R.P.
St. Louis, missouri

My son Ricky loved old soul singers and looking out for the elderly in our apartment complex. He also had his struggles with depression. One day, my phone rang and it was his fiancée screaming. Ricky had shot himself.

This story discusses Gun Suicide, Kids in the Home, and Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Reba R.P.

Mark H.
New York, new York

I actually had an incident where somebody was trying to kick down my front door. People have asked me how much longer did it take to get that gun because I had it locked away. And I said realistically, an extra two seconds.

This story discusses Kids in the Home and Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Mark H.

Chris J.
Las Vegas, nevada

In 2017, I was a First Sergeant in the Air Force. My brother Adam was serving in the Marine Corps at that time as a Lance Corporal. Unfortunately, that year I lost my brother to gun suicide.

This story discusses Veteran Suicide, Gun Suicide, and Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Chris J.

Shavon “Shay” D.
Oceanside, california

Growing up a country girl, I’ve always been around guns, and after serving 20 years in the Marine Corps as a Gunnery Sergeant, artillery became my heart. I can’t imagine living without my guns now, but it wasn’t until getting married and having kids that I realized how important safe gun storage is.

This story discusses Kids in the Home and Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Shavon “Shay” D.

Michael
california

As a young lawyer, I prosecuted some misdemeanors involving illegal gun use. The criminologist that I worked with as a prosecutor explained to me that the overwhelming majority of gun accidents involve a loaded gun left unsecured in the home. This really stuck with me.

This story discusses Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Michael

Charles T.
San Diego, california

A few years ago, a Veteran friend of mine took his own life with a gun. It caused me to take a step back and think about how that could have happened. To this day, I still think about what didn’t take place that could have prevented this tragedy.

This story discusses Veteran Suicide, Gun Suicide, and Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Charles T.

Sean S.
Pembroke Pines, florida

June 5, 1989: When I got home, I was looking for my video games to play. I knew where they were hidden since I was such a curious little kid. But, instead of the video games, I found my dad’s gun.

This story discusses Unintentional Shootings, Kids in the Home, and Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Sean S.

Denise M.
Valencia, pennsylvania

My youngest daughter’s name was Emily. She inherited her father’s brown eyes and his cheerful smile. That smile could hide even the deepest pain. On April 27, 2012, Emily was a sophomore in college.

This story discusses Gun Suicide and Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Denise M.

Adam F.
Mill Valley, california

My grandfather was my hero. As someone who served in our military, he exemplified so many values that I really admired. My grandfather’s death wasn’t something that was inevitable. In the end, he had access to his firearms when he was in a moment of crisis and the situation ended really, really badly.

This story discusses Veteran Suicide, Gun Suicide, and Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Adam F.

Khary P.
Milwaukee, wisconsin

Unfortunately, I can't tell you a lot about my mom because she was just 27 years old when she completed suicide with a gun. I was not even two years old, so I don't remember anything about her. A bullet stole her from me.

This story discusses Gun Suicide and Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Khary P.

Fenway J.
Fenton, michigan

The first friend I lost by suicide, his name was Jasper. And he was my gaming partner in crime. He was very compassionate and just cared for everyone like they were part of his family. And then the second was one of my friends from my youth group, Tori. She was very bright and she had a great personality.

This story discusses Gun Suicide and Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Fenway J.

Cliff B.

My suicide attempt had to do with 9/11. I was working at the National Guard Bureau back in 2001. On the day the planes hit, my boss actually had come in late. Had he not, I wouldn’t be here today, because I would’ve been right where the plane was.

This story discusses Gun Suicide and Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Cliff B.

Erin D.
Pasadena, california

My dad was a lot of fun to hang out with, and he was my good friend. I lost him in 2006. He had previously attempted suicide by other means and was able to get treatment, but this final time, he used a friend’s gun. He found the gun in a bedroom drawer, unsecured.

This story discusses Gun Suicide and Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Erin D.

Jahara and Lara M.

We are Jahara and Lara; an active-duty military family. We ensure our firearms are always stored securely in a locked safe that is only accessible to us.

This story discusses Active-Duty Military, Kids in the Home, and Safe Storage.

Read Full Story about Jahara and Lara M.

Explore stories about those who came close to gun suicide and now advocate for safe gun storage with End Family Fire's "Safe Stories"

Help spread the word about safe gun storage options.

Frequently Asked Questions

How should I store my guns safely?

Any steps taken to store guns more securely can make your home safer. Securely storing all of your guns can prevent firearm misuse, while still providing you with quick access when it’s needed.

Gun storage may look different for everyone. But, locking all of your guns is a great first step to preventing unintended access. If all of your guns are locked, consider storing your guns unloaded and away from ammunition for additional security.

Explore cable locks, gun safes, and more storage options to determine which are the right fit for your household.

What can I do if I'm contemplating suicide or if a loved one is in crisis?

If you are concerned that you or your loved one is in danger of hurting themselves, consider reaching out to one of the below options:

The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline

The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline provides trained crisis workers available 24/7 to guide you through options to help you or your loved one with thoughts of suicide. The Suicide & Crisis Lifeline can also provide information on local resources, including treatment.

Call or text 988. Veterans can select “1” to be connected with someone uniquely qualified to support Veterans. Support is also available in Spanish by pressing "2".

For deaf and hard of hearing users who would like to use TTY, use your preferred relay service or dial 711 then 988. Online chat is available at 988lifeline.org/chat.

The Crisis Text Line

The Crisis Text Line provides volunteer crisis counselors through a confidential texting service that is available 24/7 in the United States.

Text HOME to 741741 for English and AYUDA to 741741 for Spanish.

Online chat is available at connect.crisistextline.org/chat.

Message 741741 on WhatsApp.

The Trevor Project for LGBTQ+ Youth & Young Adults

The Trevor Project provides 24/7 crisis intervention and suicide prevention services for LGBTQ+ youth & young adults ages 13–24.

Call (866) 488-7386, text “START” to 678-678, or chat online at thetrevorproject.org/get-help.

For Young Adults in Communities of Color

The Steve Fund has created a special keyword STEVE that young people of color who are feeling stressed, depressed, or overwhelmed. Text "STEVE" to 741741 and a live, trained crisis counselor will respond 24/7.

How can I share my story about safe gun storage?

If you are at least 18 years of age and would like to share your story about the importance of safe gun storage in your household, you can email [email protected].

More FAQs