Two suicides on New Albany, OH gun ranges in the last two years have The Other Paper wondering: should gun ranges take responsibility for screening users’ mental health? According to writer Steph Greegor, “nationally, suicides at gun ranges have been popular since the early 1990s.” Never mind stats; anecdotes are all. “In Bellevue, Wash., Wade’s Gun Shop shooting range changed its policy in December, 2000, to no longer allow lone shooters after two suicides occurred there in a five-day period. The policy change approximated no-rental-without-a-partner changes made in 1996 at several San Francisco-area ranges after a run of seven suicides at three different ranges that year.” The writer also explores the possibility of requiring ranges to perform background checks on customers. And warning signs listing suicide warning signs. Steve Yuszka, co-owner of The Powder Room shooting range in Powell, is unimpressed with that idea.
“I think that would be more of a discussion for some high level psychologist on whether someone would read a sign and say ‘Oh, I shouldn’t commit suicide because they have a sign,’” said Yuszka. “It’s like the gun signs outside of banks that say ‘No guns.’ What is the criminal going to do? Say, ‘Oh, I can’t rob this bank because there’s a sign on the door?’ No. It all sounds good, but it doesn’t make sense.”