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MENTAL HEALTH

Community gun safes set up in local businesses

Jul 10, 2023, 6:20 PM | Updated: 6:40 pm

CACHE COUNTY, UtahSome Cache County business owners are trying to give gun owners a safe space to store their weapons while struggling with mental health challenges.

The owners of Cache Coffee and more started doing this a couple of years ago, after losing a friend to suicide, and having another veteran friend come to them for help in storing their weapons.

“It’s basically a community place. There’s always people here,” said Jamie Buttars, co-owner of Cache Coffee.

Buttars said it’s a spot where people can come for help.

“We have put three or four guns in our safe the last three months. That’s people that want to help themselves, you know, get better, or they’ve helped a family member.”

What started with this safe has now grown.

“Liberty Safes was kind enough to reach out to us and offer to help,” Buttars said.

What started as a concern for veterans is now a service open to anyone. They can store their guns, and if they want, talk.

“So, if they need, we help them get therapists, or get into group classes, or have people for them to talk to.”

And Buttars said the program is ready to grow exponentially. Attorneys and Liberty Safes are giving small businesses a pathway to do the same thing.

“We had people from all over the country reach out to us,” he said.

The next business owner to take on that responsibility is Anita Putney.

“Definitely, I believe there’s a need for it,” she said. “You hear about it all the time, that someone has taken their life.”

Buttars’ old safe will go to Preece’s Pretty Paws — on the north end of the county in Richmond.

“The town is small, and it’s just, nobody’s in the limelight. Like, it’s just really easy, low-key. And if somebody is having a crisis or anything like that, it’s not a bunch of people around that’s going to judge,” Putney said.

Putney, who is also a gun owner, said she wanted to take this on for one simple reason.

“We could save more people.”

The Buttars have Cache Coffee and more set up as a nonprofit community coalition.

Businesses that want to set up a safe will get help from their nonprofit and Liberty Safes to pay for the safe and set up the program.

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Community gun safes set up in local businesses