A new policy to get guns out of the hands of suicidal personnel has been forwarded by the Navy to reduce suicides among its sailors, Military.com reports.
The idea is that if commanders suspect a serious level of suicidal ideations or behavior, they now have the authority to request that sailor to give up any firearms for a temporary period of time, although the Navy emphasized that the request will not be forced. At any time, the sailor is free to decline.
This latest move comes as a result of a study of suicides in the military, which looked at deaths between the years of 2010-12. Researchers discovered that suicides were highest in combat zones and lowest in Europe where soldiers had less access to weapons. In 2012 and 2013, firearms were involved in half of all Navy suicides.
Access was thought to be a significant factor in the differing suicide rates between Europe and the U.S. The recommendation arrived on the scene quickly because the Navy, like other services, has listed suicide reduction as a major national priority.