Community-led effort focuses on preventing firearms accidents, thefts and misuse
LAS VEGAS – As Project ChildSafe, the nationwide firearms safety education program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), celebrates its 20th anniversary this year, it’s stepping up efforts with the shooting sports industry to remind gun owners of their important role as leaders in genuine firearms safety.
“Nearly 9,000 retailers, gun ranges, makers of accessories and conservation groups, along with many of the nation’s largest firearms manufacturers, have joined us in spreading the message of ‘Own It? Respect It. Secure It.,’ and encouraging gun owners to store their firearms responsibly when not in use,” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF’s CEO. “With new companies in our industry adding their support for Project ChildSafe, I know we can continue to reduce firearms accidents, thefts and misuse, including suicide.”
Project ChildSafe was launched in 1999 and has become the largest, most comprehensive firearms safety education program in the U.S. Through partnerships across the shooting sports industry, as well as with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies, the program has distributed more than 38 million free firearms safety kits — each including a gun lock and safety brochure–to gun owners and become the leading voice in promoting safe storage of firearms when they aren’t in use.
The program is financially supported by NSSF member companies, and during its history has received a number of federal and state grants helping to extend its reach. At the industry’s annual trade show this week, the SHOT Show, program leaders are focused on increasing direct industry engagement with customers and the gun-owning public to promote safe firearms handling and storage. The effort is primarily driven by the results the program has already achieved. In the time since Project ChildSafe launched, fatal firearms accidents in all age groups have dropped to historic lows, according to the National Safety Council. Additionally, in 2017, the Government Accountability Office issued a report with a clear determination that giving gun owners free gun locks, as Project ChildSafe does, results in more gun owners choosing to use the locks and store their firearms securely.
Sanetti said that there are many safe storage options gun owners can use to keep guns out of the wrong hands, including lock boxes, and that parents should make it a priority to talk with their children about gun safety.
“The firearms industry is committed to the safe, legal and responsible use of firearms, and, as an industry, we are the leading voice in the national conversation to promote responsible actions among legal gun owners, to help prevent accidents and to help keep guns out of the wrong hands. Because all those actions are real solutions that make homes, neighborhoods and communities safer,” Sanetti said.
NSSF’s Shooting Hunting and Outdoor Trade (SHOT) Show presents a perfect opportunity for industry members to learn more about Project ChildSafe and how they can be involved. Project ChildSafe will be on site at SHOT Show at booth #2426 and, because mobilizing an industry also requires engaging the leading voices in that industry, Project ChildSafe will host a special “Women of the Gun” reception, on Wednesday, Jan. 23, featuring many of the most prominent women in hunting and the shooting sports today.
For more information on Project ChildSafe and how to get involved, visit projectchildsafe.org.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 12,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit nssf.org.
About Project ChildSafe
NSSF launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (prior to 2003 the program was called Project HomeSafe) as a nationwide initiative to promote firearms responsibility and provide safety education to all gun owners, young adults and children. Through partnerships with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies nationwide, the program has provided more than 38 million free firearm safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and the five U.S. territories to help prevent firearms accidents, theft and misuse. That’s in addition to the more than 70 million free locking devices manufacturers have included with new firearms sold since 1998 and continue to do today. Project ChildSafe was also recognized as one of three finalists in the National Safety Council’s 2018 “Green Cross for Safety” Awards. Learn more at projectchildsafe.org.