An external evaluation of suicide in the U.S. military has produced a report calling for greater gun control restrictions for troops.
The Suicide Prevention and Response Independent Review Committee (SPRIRC) was formed by the Department of Defense in March 2020 to help combat the rising rate of suicides among servicemembers.
In the committee’s report, released Friday, the independent body recommends, “On DoD property, raise the minimum age for purchasing firearms and ammunition to 25 years.”
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The committee designated the suggested ban on gun purchases for soldiers under 25 as “high priority” and a factor that “must change.”
The report goes on to suggest several other alterations to gun laws on DOD property that reflect common gun control tactics, including suggestions to “implement a 7-day waiting period for any firearm purchased on DoD property” and “develop a national database for recording serial numbers of firearms purchased on DoD property.”
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“In this report, the SPRIRC emphasized that effectively preventing and responding to suicide will require a multifactorial approach, as deaths by suicide among service members are complex; thus, simple or singular strategies will not work,” the committee wrote in its executive summary.
The report also recommends that the DOD “implement a 4-day waiting period for ammunition purchases on DoD property to follow purchases and receipt of firearms purchased on DoD property.”
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“The Department of Defense has taken note of the SPRIRC’s work and will use it to enhance their current approach in three key priority areas,” the DOD said in a statement Friday in response to the report.
The statement continued, “The Department of Defense recognizes that suicide is a complex issue with no single cause or solution but is committed to promoting the well-being, health, and morale of their Total Force and preventing suicide within their ranks.”
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