Our Work

The Center for the Study and Prevention of Violence (CSPV) is conducting a process and outcome evaluation of Gun Shop Project (GSP) efforts in Colorado and across the U.S. While GSPs are being implemented in 21 states throughout the country, studies evaluating GSP implementation and impact are limited. Through our evaluation efforts, CSPV will build upon these previous studies to better understand how GSPs facilitate change within Colorado and the impact GSPs have on suicide outcomes more broadly across communities that support such efforts.

Gun Shop Projects

Gun Shop Projects (GSPs) build local partnership infrastructure between public, mental and community health agencies, and firearm businesses. The approach uses trusted messengers in the firearm community to educate firearm business owners, managers, and employees on the increased risk of death by suicide among firearm owners due to their access to firearms when in crisis. Through relationship building, education, and the provision of resources and materials, GSPs support businesses in understanding, adopting, and disseminating suicide prevention and safe storage promotion messaging, recognizing customers at-risk for suicide, and facilitating voluntary, temporary safe storage for at-risk members of their community.

GSPs were first started in 2009 in New Hampshire and have since expanded across the United States. More information about New Hampshire’s efforts and GSP’s national expansion can be found here. The Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment (CDPHE) has been supporting GSP in local Colorado communities since 2015. More information about state-wide efforts can be found here.

Our Evaluation

To understand how GSPs facilitate change in communities and impact suicide outcomes, we are conducting a robust evaluation that includes both state and national components.

  • Local implementation evaluation: To better understand how GSPs are implemented across Colorado communities and to identify the critical components of GSP implementation, we are working with existing GSP sites to collect information on their experiences with GSP and their knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to suicide prevention and safe firearm storage.
  • Local outcome evaluation: To evaluate the impact of GSP on the owners, managers, employees, and customers at firearm businesses that participate in their local GSP, we will work with new GSP sites to conduct a quasi-experimental evaluation that looks at changes in knowledge, attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors related to suicide prevention and safe firearm storage attributed to GSP participation.
  • National evaluation: To understand the impact GSPs may have on suicide outcomes, we will examine the effects of GSP implementation and duration on the number of suicides involving firearms in counties that have supported GSP efforts in comparison to counties that have not supported GSP efforts.

Our Partners

Our project is rooted in partnership, and we are honored to work with the Office of Suicide Prevention within the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment’s (CDPHE) Violence and Injury Prevention – Mental Health Promotion Branch whose support of local GSP efforts in Colorado make our evaluation possible.

Additionally, our team partners closely with researchers on the CU Anschutz Medical Campus, community agencies, individuals, and organizations, including the Colorado Firearm Safety Coalition, all of which are invaluable to our efforts.