SALT LAKE CITY — Utah ranks fourth in the nation for its high number of suicide deaths, and 86 percent of all gun-related deaths in the past year were deemed to be suicides.

"There's no reason we shouldn't do everything in our power to stop this," said Rep. Steve Eliason, R-Sandy, who is sponsoring a bill that would develop an education program for firearm retailers to help them identify one-time gun buyers intending to use the guns for suicide.

HB390 is patterned after the now nationally successful New Hampshire Gun Shop Project that began in 2009. Various states have been able to cut down on suicides, saving lives at the point of sale.

Eliason said firearms retailers and shooting range owners aren't required to comply with the proposed program, but information will be disseminated to help them know and teach others about the potentially risky behaviors and attitudes to look for when working with the public.

Utah bill aims to prevent suicide at point of gun sale

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