Madison, WI – Today, State Senator (D-Madison) announced new legislation aimed at preventing and reducing suicide in Wisconsin by creating the Firearm Self-Exclusion Program. The program would allow citizens to voluntarily prohibit themselves from purchasing a handgun in Wisconsin. The proposal was modeled after gambling self-exclusion programs in other states like Michigan, Illinois, and Iowa. Senator Agard released the following statement:
“This bill provides those who are suffering from suicide ideation or other mental health issues a path forward– a path of empowerment and safety. We know that most suicides are carried out by firearm. If we can save even one life by passing this legislation, it will be a victory.
“Let me be clear, this bill will not take away anyone’s firearms. It is a purely voluntary program. Those who are fearful of what actions they might take can decide to voluntarily prohibit themselves from possessing a firearm for a period of time, until they feel that moment of crisis has lifted.
“This is about saving lives. Mental health issues continue to be highly stigmatized, but these honest conversations and innovative public policies can make a difference. We can provide those who are suffering tools that will limit their ability to do harm to themselves or others.”