Secure Your Weapon! The term itself is a time-honored military expression, immediately understood by anyone who has ever served. It refers to a deeply rooted military tradition: your weapon (firearm) is under your direct control or it is secured, meaning safely stored and preferably locked. In fact, it must be locked when not in use, and even triple-locked, by military standards. It is the norm, rigidly trained and always expected such that it becomes second nature and practiced without even thinking about it.
Public Education Goals
- Save lives.
- Elevate expectations. Raise weapon safety and awareness from disparate civilian approaches to the military standard that helps protect Veterans, their families, and the general community.
- Reinforce cultural norms. Secure Your Weapon reminds the Veteran: you are military, still, and always. This is your culture; you belong to it. This is our culture’s expectation for each other. Our way is to maintain weapons and ensure their security.
- Encourage mentorship. The training and experience of service members and Veterans is needed to help others develop higher standards for their habits involving weapon safety. Secure Your Weapon provides an opportunity for service members and Veterans to share what they know to educate their friends and family about these high and unwavering weapon safety standards. It also adds another level of involvement to encourage the Veteran community to share their knowledge and experience to benefit the community.
- Generate camaraderie. Secure Your Weapon seeks to bind Veterans to, rather than estrange them from, their larger community, the military and civilian community.
Video Presentation - Jon Perez & Kelli Williams
For someone who serves in the military, weapon safety is second nature. The Secure Your Weapon initiative enlists the help of all service members and veterans to promote proper weapon safety and storage in their homes and communities. Sharing that knowledge with the wider community can help save lives. This session will review current data in Arizona about gun-related deaths by suicide, with an emphasis on rural veterans, review new best practice approaches to working with veterans and identify community resources and partners for the campaign.
Support is Available
If someone is exhibiting signs or voicing plans for suicide, find a private place and ask them directly, “Are you contemplating suicide?” If the answer is yes, seek help immediately:
1) Call for help: Veterans Crisis Line 800-273-8255, then press 1.
2) Text “HELLO” to 741741 for help.
3) Go with them to the nearest hospital emergency room.
Free Promotional Items
In addition to free gun locks, the Be Connected program offers free promotional materials to help share the message to Secure Your Weapon. To request materials, fill out this form.
Secure Your Weapon’s free gun lock program is a partnership of the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System, The NARBHA Institute, the Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services, the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs, TriWest Healthcare Alliance, the Arizona Coalition for Military Families, and Be Connected.