How to Help if You are Concerned

Steps to Take When Suicide Risk is Elevated

For yourself or another person at risk, buy time for recovery by creating distance from firearms.

Use time-based suicide prevention to Go SLO, as recommended by the US Air Force and Veterans Health Administration.

Go SLO – Safes, Locks, Outside the Home

  1. Safes: Secure all firearms in a safe or gun case and give a trusted individual the keys & combinations.
  2. Locks: Secure all firearms with locking devices and give keys to a trusted individual.
  3. Outside the Home: Store firearms away from the home using a temporary emergency transfer. See below for details.
  4. Call or Text: Call 988 or text HOME to 741-741 for immediate help.

Temporary Transfers for Suicide Prevention are Legal in Washington State

Have a trusted individual or other organization hold firearms until the crisis resolves. Temporary transfers to prevent suicide are legal in Washington without a background check (see RCW 9.41.113(4)(a) and (4)(d) for clarification).

RCW 9.41.113: Firearm sales or transfers—Background checks—Requirements—Exceptions
(4) This section does not apply to:
(a) A transfer between immediate family members, which for this subsection shall be limited to spouses, domestic partners, parents, parents-in-law, children, siblings, siblings-in-law, grandparents, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, first cousins, aunts, and uncles, that is a bona fide gift or loan;
(d) A temporary transfer of possession of a firearm if: (i) The transfer is intended to prevent suicide or self-inflicted great bodily harm; (ii) the transfer lasts only as long as reasonably necessary to prevent death or great bodily harm; and (iii) the firearm is not utilized by the transferee for any purpose for the duration of the temporary transfer;

Firearms Safe Storage Map

Many organizations in Washington have offered to consider requests to hold firearms temporarily for people in a crisis.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO)

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) prevent people who are at high risk of harming themselves or others from having access to a firearm. Family, household members or police can obtain an ERPO by submitting a request with evidence demonstrating the danger the individual poses to the court. We recommend the following resources to learn more.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs)

Medication Storage and Disposal

Limit access to medications (prescription and over-the-counter). Lock up all medications except a one-week supply, and dispose of expired or unused medication in the home by returning them to a disposal drop box, or requesting a free medication disposal kit.