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Local Suicide Prevention Organization Asks Gun Sellers to Help Raise Awareness

LOWELL, Ark. - A startling statistic from U.S. News and World Report, more than 20,000 Americans use guns every year to take their own lives.

These numbers are prompting a suicide prevention organization in Northwest Arkansas to try a different tactic to break the cycle. 

"Every 15 hours an Arkansan dies by suicide," Board Member for the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention - Arkansas Chapter Elizabeth Gray.

It may seem like an unlikely partnership. 

"This is a very non traditional way in reducing these numbers," Gray said. 

But Elizabeth Gray from the Arkansas Chapter of the American Foundation of Suicide Prevention says her group and gun sellers will soon mix. 

"AFSP has stepped forward to try to educate the fire-arm community of the risk factors and the warning signs when preventing suicides," Gray said. 

This new relationship is one part of Project 2025 - a campaign geared toward decreasing suicides by 20%.

"It is so important to now collaborate with the gun owners and fire arms shops owners to ensure everyone has the knowledge of the risk factors," Gray said. "So if someone is in a bad position that person can step in and save them." 

Gray says they aren't looking to change any laws.

Just for gun sellers and advocates to merge as one. 

She also hopes these gun shop owners will be able to recognize certain warning signs before a fire-arm is sold. 

Because Gray says she wakes up everyday trying to find a solution. 

"We are learning as we are going and everything we do is to help them," Gray said.

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