NW PA Counties graphicThe Northwest Pennsylvania (NW PA) Veteran Suicide Prevention Program operates on a three-pronged approach involving healthcare providers, community organizations, and Veterans and their families in the 15 counties of NW PA. Because Hold My Guns is an active partner and collaborates with us to promote safe firearm storage, we wanted to share this information about a new safe storage partner for Pennsylvania. We encourage everyone to review this information, share it within personal and professional networks, and get involved in suicide prevention and safe storage efforts in their communities.

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Hold My Guns Expands Firearms Storage Initiative in Pennsylvania

HMG QR Zoom Background(Havertown, PA) Hold My Guns®, a nonprofit offering voluntary storage through strategic partnerships with Federal Firearms Licensees (FFLs) across the United States, has expanded its Pennsylvania footprint by partnering with Shot Tec, LLC , in Bala Cynwyd. This collaboration, together with Allegheny Arms & Gun Works in Pittsburgh, enhances Hold My Guns®’ statewide coverage, providing dependable and accessible firearm storage in eastern and western Pennsylvania.

Hold My Guns®’ FFL partners support firearms owners in a variety of situations without inquiring about their reasons for needing storage. These private reasons may include deployment, real estate open houses, family transitions, housing at-risk foster children, firearms prohibitions within the household, shelter admissions for homelessness or domestic violence, and mental health crises such as PTS or suicidal ideation.

Grant Schmidt, owner of Shot Tec, LLC, commented on the partnership, emphasizing the importance of solutions that support firearms owners’ needs. “The work of Hold My Guns® is necessary. It demonstrates that we can find a non-political solution to many challenges our communities face that are often made more difficult by the unintended consequences of gun control laws,” Schmidt said. “We look forward to providing excellent by-appointment-only customer service for a safe, convenient, legal way for individuals to store firearms and ammunition.”

In 2023, Hold My Guns®’ FFL partners stored 144 firearms. Twenty-six of these firearms were stored after a Christmas Eve Wall Street Journal article on Veteran suicide highlighted the organization. Hold My Guns® is currently collaborating with nine FFLs in eight states and aims to grow its network to 40 partners by the end of 2024 with the support of grassroots donors and corporate sponsors.

According to The Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) 2023 National Veteran Suicide Prevention Annual Report, firearms were involved in 72.2% of veteran suicides, compared to 52.2% of non-veteran suicides in 2021. The report underscores that secure firearms storage acts as a safety measure, creating a vital buffer of time and space between suicidal impulse and action, which can significantly influence the choice between life and death.

Retired Sergeant Major Richard C. Hamp, Special Assistant to the Deputy Adjutant General for Veteran Affairs, expressed his support of the initiative. “The Pennsylvania Governor’s Challenge Team is dedicated to promoting responsible gun ownership, particularly among transitioning Service Members, Veterans, and their Families,” he said.  “We endorse careful planning and the safe off-site storage of firearms during stressful or crisis periods. Hold My Guns® serves as an invaluable ally, helping us secure lawful storage options that safely limit access to lethal means, with the goal of returning firearms to their rightful owners. With Hold My Guns®’ expanding network, we’re equipped to provide life-saving alternatives.”

Building on this support, Sarah Joy Albrecht, Founder and Executive Director of Hold My Guns®, commended the strategic addition of Shot Tec, LLC, to their efforts. “Welcoming Shot Tec, LLC, into our FFL partner network improves accessibility to voluntary secure firearms storage options in Pennsylvania and nationwide,” said Albrecht. “Hold My Guns®’ approach is grounded in respect for personal agency and self-determination, offering an alternative to legislative measures that may unintentionally stigmatize or criminalize gun owners. We believe in the power of community-based solutions and the positive impact they have on society. We urge Pennsylvanians, especially referral sources such as first responders, mental health professionals, and Veterans service organizations, to consider Shot Tec, LLC, an essential lethal means safety resource.”

About Hold My Guns

HMG FFL flyerHold My Guns’ (HMG) mission is to connect responsible firearm owners with voluntary, private off-site storage options, through their national network of partnering gun shops and FFLs, during times of mental health crisis or personal need. Offsite storage helps to prevent suicide, accidental shootings, theft of firearms, and stolen firearms used in crimes.

What does HMG provide?

✓Firearms storage process compliant with ATF regulations, as well as state-specific laws.
✓Customer-facing storage agreement template.
✓ Ongoing support from the Hold My Guns® team.
✓ Educational and outreach opportunities.
✓ Networking and promotional opportunities within the firearms industry.

Within the Western Pennsylvania region, HMG also partners with:

4603 Library Rd, Bethel Park, PA 15102

+1 412-409-2925

Looking to Get Involved?

friends standing togetherWhether you identify as a healthcare provider, community organization, or Veteran, there are several opportunities through the NW PA Veteran Suicide Prevention Program and PERU to connect to resources, participate in educational training, and promote harm reduction strategies. We are actively recruiting healthcare and community partners to work with us in meeting our goals and objectives. To learn more, visit the program website at theresilientveteran.org.

Need Help? Know Someone Who Does? Contact the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 988 or use the online Lifeline Crisis Chat. Both are free and confidential. You’ll be connected to a skilled, trained counselor in your area.

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