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‘Firearm Life Plan’ developed in Colorado provides resources for families, gun owners

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- It’s already difficult to tell an aging loved one they should give up the keys to their car. So talking about what they should do with their firearms, could be even more sensitive. That's why researchers in Colorado have developed the Firearm Life Plan.

FirearmLifePlan.org is a free, anonymous resource created by researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus, to give families and gun owners a way to create a plan for the future.

"It's something that we developed for firearm owners and their families to help think through what they would want to happen in the future, either if they develop impairments that make them less safe at handling firearms, or ultimately at their death," said Dr. Emmy Betz, professor at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Director of the Firearm Injury Prevention Initiative.

The Firearm Life Plan was created after researchers spent over a year with focus groups, and interviewed over 100 firearm owners and families.

"What we heard from people was there are lots of resources for other kinds of planning," said Dr. Betz. "Driving, advanced care planning for medical needs, estate planning, and financial documents. But there wasn't anything specifically for how to think about decisions related to firearms."

The website includes a toolkit with worksheets that can help answer difficult questions like: “Where do you want your guns to go when you die?” “Have you noticed your eyes or hands are giving you trouble lately?" Or “Where do you store all of your guns and what’s the code to the safe if something happens?”

The toolkit also includes an inventory list and a legacy map which can be used to write down memories, share the history of someone's guns, and indicate who the guns should be passed down to after death. 

“We're not collecting people's data," said Dr. Betz "The website has worksheets that people can download and then fill out themselves, keep where they want, share with whoever they want. It's not any kind of registry. It's intended to give people the tools they need to make their own plans."

Dr. Betz says it's also a way for gun owners to take control of their situation before something happens.

"We certainly hope that the idea of a life plan will become something that people might want to tackle themselves, even before family steps in," said Dr. Betz. "What we heard from a lot of people was that part of being a responsible firearm owner means making sure that you safely handle and safely store any weapons that you own, and you make sure that unauthorized people can't access them. So a lot of people really saw this step of planning as part of that responsible ownership. What we also heard over and over again is, what people really don't want is someone else coming in and telling them what to do, or taking away their things. I think we all get that. But I think having this kind of plan in place is something that can help a person feel more comfortable that their wishes are going to be followed."

For more information on the Firearm Life Plan, click here.

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Mallory Anderson

Comments

4 Comments

  1. My biggest fear is she sells them for what I told her they are worth, not what they actually are worth!!!

  2. My biggest fear is she believes there’s as few as I’ve told her there are. Seriously tho doctors should just stick to practicing medicine mmmm kay.

  3. What’s the difference between this and a will? The only difference I see is that this is specific to firearms, whereas wills cover everything including firearms, whether specifically docümented in the will or by default like other property if not specifically docümented.

  4. What am I missing here? Like Reality said this is already covered in a will or estate planning. Looks like a solution to a problem that doesn’t exist. How about focus on the raging drug problem where our state legislators have made legal because they are complete idiots. Allowing drug addicts to carry 4 grams and only be subject to a misdemeanor is completely asinine.

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