Military moves to cut suicides, but defers action on guns

Lloyd Austin
Posted at 3:20 PM, Mar 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-03-16 15:20:05-04

WASHINGTON (AP) — Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin has ordered a number of improvements in access to mental health care to try to reduce suicides in the military.

But he is holding off on endorsing more controversial recommendations to restrict gun and ammunition purchases by young troops, sending them to another panel for study.

The orders issued Thursday reflect increasing concerns about suicides in the military, despite more than a decade of programs and other efforts to prevent them and spur greater intervention by commanders, friends and family members.

But Austin's omission of any gun safety and control measures underscore the likelihood that they would face staunch resistance, particularly in Congress, where such legislation has struggled in recent years.