A local firearms club has introduced a unique gun safety program with the aim of preventing loss of life, potentially making it a model for a national initiative.
7INVESTIGATES had an exclusive look into the mechanics of this program, as reported by Dave Puglisi.
The situation is both heart-wrenching and beyond words.
According to 7Investigates’ findings, almost 57% of gun-related fatalities in Massachusetts result from accidental discharges or suicides. These numbers are echoed across the country, prompting the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to take action.
The CDC is actively seeking novel strategies to tackle gun-related violence.
The members of the Weston Shooters Club are confident they have found the answer.
“We have formalized this now and are trying to collaborate with the CDC, who are searching for solutions to reduce gun-related violence and fatalities. Our program is already in place,” affirmed Victor Grillo, owner of the Weston Shooters Club.
Grillo gathered a team of experts, including military personnel, former police officers, and Harvard psychologists, to contribute their insights.
Ralph Bibbo, the Chief Range Officer, shared, “I know the pain of losing a loved one to gun violence.”
Their collaborative efforts resulted in GAASP: Gun Accident Assault, and Suicide Prevention. This gun safety training program has garnered praise from various public safety officials.
“It’s so practical that anyone can participate. As discussed, David, we invite you to take the course and see for yourself,” added Grillo.
The 30-minute class focuses on prioritizing home safety.
The program then addresses a sensitive issue often avoided by gun owners – discussions surrounding gun-related suicides. Instructors emphasize the importance of creating a barrier between individuals in distress and their firearms, as well as encouraging reaching out for help.
GAASP will be continually refined by experts and shared with members of the Weston Shooters Club, with hopes of seeing it adopted across the nation.
Later this year, the CDC will evaluate GAASP for a potential research grant. Regardless of grant approval, the creators are optimistic that GAASP will gain traction and be embraced nationwide.