The announcement of NSSF’s new Project ChildSafe Communities program at the state capitol in Oklahoma City on Jan. 25 included an impressive group of supporters, including Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin who, with NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti, launched the year-long, community-led effort to help prevent firearms accidents, thefts and misuse.
Made possible by a $2.4 million grant awarded to NSSF by the U.S. Office of Justice Programs and overseen by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, this new Project ChildSafe effort will provide intensive firearm safety messaging accompanied by gun lock giveaways in Oklahoma City and then expand to two other major U.S. metropolitan areas. The goal is to model a program that can be used in cities across the country to remind gun owners that securely storing firearms when not in use is the number one way to help prevent firearms accidents, thefts and misuse. In addition to this focused effort in cities, the federal grant will also allow NSSF to enhance public education efforts and distribute Project ChildSafe’s free firearm safety kits to communities in all 50 states.
Among the messages that will be stressed in Oklahoma City and elsewhere is that if you own a firearm, you should respect it and secure it when not in use. Also, the campaign includes a call to “Aim for Zero” firearm accidents.
Gov. Fallin, a longtime supporter of the Project ChildSafe program, was joined at the launch by representatives of several community stakeholder groups that will partner with NSSF to help the program’s firearm safety reminders reach gun owners. These included Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jim Anderson, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma Mark Yancey, and Scotty Dee and Major General Rita Aragon of Honoring America’s Warriors. Additional stakeholders at the event showing their support included the Oklahoma City Fire Department, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, the Oklahoma Veterans Council, the Oklahoma City Gun Club, Hall-N-Hall Consulting and local chapter leaders of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, National Wild Turkey Federation, Delta Waterfowl, DIVA-WOW, The Well-Armed Woman, Cabela’s and 4-H Shooting Sports.