POLITICS + GOVERNMENT

Rep. Curtis hopes to prevent gun suicides nationally with law similar to Utah’s

Jul 19, 2022, 3:22 PM | Updated: 3:26 pm
do not sell list...
Rep. John Curtis explains his efforts to make national a Utah gun law that allows someone to place themselves on a do-not-sell list. (Screengrab of interview/KSL Newsradio)
(Screengrab of interview/KSL Newsradio)

SALT LAKE CITY — Rep.  John Curtis is hoping to take a Utah law involving a do-not-sell list to the federal level, to prevent gun suicides.

Just like the law already on the books in Utah, he’s proposing a bill to allow those experiencing a mental health emergency to voluntarily put themselves on a do-not-sell list. The bill is called the Preventing Suicide Through Voluntary Firearm Purchase Delay Act.

The bill is co-sponsored by Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal (WA-07).

Curtis told KSL NewsRadio’s Inside Sources that when Jayapal approached him about the bill, he had to do research into it.

“I didn’t know that we lose almost 24,000 people a year to suicide by gun … That’s 65 a day,” Curtis said.

Why the bill matters

“Suicide attempts are 140 times more likely to be successful if the person has a gun,” Jayapal told Inside Sources. “This is our ability to save lives.”

“If they went in to buy a firearm after they had done this, they would be prohibited from doing that,” Rep. Curtis told KSL NewsRadio. “Of course, it could be undone.”

Curtis argued that gun deaths from suicide get very little attention, despite the fact that these deaths involve more people than mass shootings like the one in Uvalde, Texas.

“We’re losing 64 lives a day to suicide by firearm — 64 a day — that’s like two of those Texas shootings every day and it gets almost no attention,” he said.

And he said he thinks addressing gun suicide is a way to curb deaths from guns.

If we want to impact gun deaths there’s no better way than to do it with this.”

“In those moments of [a] terrible mental health crisis, when you’re at your lowest point, when you’re dealing with these situations, you won’t be sold a gun. You won’t have that opportunity to make that impulsive but very long-lasting decision that might take your own life,” Jayapal said.

Jayapal said another bipartisan step to take to prevent gun deaths includes investing more in mental health resources.

Will a national do-not-sell-list bill pass?

Curtis said he thinks Republicans in Congress will support this effort.

“I’m counting on it,” he said.

He also thinks the fact that the do-not-sell-list bill is being co-sponsored by Jayapal, who is the head of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, means it’s got the ear of Democrats in control of scheduling a vote.

“The fact that it’s co-sponsored by her does increase the likelihood that it will get heard soon,” he said.

In a joint press release, Rep. Jayapal also stressed the importance of addressing gun suicides.

“We are losing thousands of people every year to gun suicide. That’s thousands of people who thought they had no way out, who were suffering.  We can and must solve for this public health crisis which has taken so many lives,” said Rep. Jayapal in the press release. 

“The odds of successfully committing suicide are 140 times greater when there is a gun. Comprehensively addressing the gun violence epidemic in our country means ending gun suicides too. In Washington, where more than 75% of gun deaths are suicides, I’m proud that my home state was the first to pass a version of the bill Congressman Curtis and I are introducing today.”

Watch the full interview with Rep. John Curtis below:

 

Related: 988 suicide hotline rolls out and will save lives in Utah and the US

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Politics + Government

The Chinese national flag is seen at the entrance to the Zhongnanhai leadership compound in Beijing...
By Zachary Cohen, CNN

A look at China’s history of spying in the US

The suspected Chinese surveillance balloon that violated American airspace this week has fueled a diplomatic crisis with the postponement of Secretary of State Antony Blinken's planned trip to Beijing.
1 day ago
A balloon flies in the sky over Billings, Montana, U.S. February 1, 2023, in this picture obtained ...
Zachary Cohen, CNN

US military has shot down the Chinese spy balloon off US East Coast, US official says

The US military has shot down the suspected Chinese surveillance balloon over the Atlantic Ocean off the Eastern Seaboard, a US official said Saturday.
1 day ago
Martin Gold, a visiting scholar with the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation, says the Filibuster is critical...
Mark Jones

Filibuster is critical if country is to maintain compromise, expert says

A visiting scholar to the Orrin G. Hatch Foundation told Inside Sources Friday how important the filibuster is to compromise.
2 days ago
defraud...
Britt Johnson

Utah County men facing charges for defrauding the United States

The claims state that Zachary Bassett and Mason Warr used a fraudulent tax scheme to receive COVID-19-related relief funds.
2 days ago
Rep. Kera Birkeland, R-Morgan, sponsor of HB297 Victim Services Amendments, poses for a portrait at...
Katie McKellar, Deseret News

A Utah lawmaker and her sister at odds: Should rape victims need to contact police before getting an abortion?

Rep. Kera Birkeland says her bill focuses on rape victim services and holding rapists accountable. But her sister, a rape survivor, says it strips away choices.
2 days ago
Two temporary federal pandemic emergency assistance programs are coming to an end in the coming mon...
Waverly Golden

As two federal pandemic emergency-assistance programs near an end, Cox has solutions

Two temporary federal pandemic emergency assistance programs are coming to an end in the coming months due to more job opportunities.
2 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Rep. Curtis hopes to prevent gun suicides nationally with law similar to Utah’s