A PROGRAM OF THE NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION

Blog Archive, July 2017

July 31, 2017

A freelance writer/editor, Barbara Baird publishes an e-zine, Women’s Outdoor News, and writes for several firearms, travel and outdoor publications. She is a contributing editor at SHOT Business and her bylines have appeared in National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) publications, National Rifle Association (NRA) publications, Show Me Missouri, Missouri Life, Rural Missouri, St. Louis Post-Dispatch and Field & Stream.

 

Along with editorial duties, Baird is the co-host of a national podcast, “The Women’s Gun Show,” with Carrie Lightfoot, of The Well Armed Woman. Sponsored by Ruger and NRA Women, the weekly podcast focuses on women and shooting, along with timely and trending firearms news topics, product reviews, guest interviews and an insight into the fast-growing world of women and gun ownership. It can be found on iTunes, Stitcher and iHeart Radio.

 

Baird is also the leader of The Well Armed Woman, Top of the Ozarks Chapter, a certified NRA pistol instructor and continuing student of personal defense shooting skills. She lives in the Missouri Ozarks, with her husband, Jason. They have 4 children and 6 grandchildren.

 

Project ChildSafe: Why are firearms safety and responsible storage of firearms when not in use important?

 

BB: Safe storage of firearms is an integral part of gun ownership. It is so important that guns never become easy targets for those who should not have them, such as criminals, individuals with certain mental health challenges and, of course, children.

 

 

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us a little about the things you do to help promote firearms safety in your community.

 

BB: At Women’s Outdoor News, we continually integrate the message of “Own It? Respect It. Secure It.” through our content – whether it’s a gun review or a story about a hunting trip. We are running a series of gun reviews sponsored by Liberty Safe, which always recommends using a safe for storage. We are also producing a video series this year on Project ChildSafe featuring some of the outdoor industry’s prominent women hunters and competition shooters, along with other notables, in which they talk about forms of safe storage. For example, Melissa Bachman discusses the gun vault beside her bed for home defense and Julie McQueen gives tips on how to travel safely with firearms. There are more videos to come and we’re excited to be partnering with NSSF in this venture.

 

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us why you support NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program.

 

BB: It just works. I recently interviewed Bill Romanelli, spokesperson for NSSF’s Project ChildSafe Program, for Episode #57 of “The Women’s Gun Show,” in which he mentioned the success stories associated with the program and the fact that more than 37 million locks have been distributed across the country. With the support of government agencies, including wildlife divisions, the program is getting grassroots support and boots on the ground in areas where we need it most.

 

July 31, 2017

Robert Hurst, of St. Louis, serves as the Delta Waterfowl Arch Chapter’s Veterans Activity Coordinator. Hurst plays a major role in organizing and executing the Aaron Hurst Memorial Youth Waterfowl Education Day each year, in memory of Hurst’s late son Aaron. At the education day, which hosts around 100 children, each attendee learns the basics of waterfowling and safe gun handling.

Project ChildSafe: Why are firearms safety and responsible storage of firearms when not in use important?

RH: Safe storage of firearms is a direct responsibility of the owner. If you have children, you need to secure your firearms so your kids and other unauthorized individuals, such as criminals, do not gain access to them. There are simple ways to secure your firearms, when not in use, by applying a trigger lock or cable-style lock on your firearms or by securing them in a gun safe or gun cabinet.

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us a little about the things you do to help promote firearms safety in your community.

RH: Over the past five years, the Arch Chapter of Delta Waterfowl puts on a Youth Waterfowl Education Day in my son’s name. The Aaron Hurst Youth Memorial Education Day teaches children how to safely handle firearms and what to do if they come across a firearm: “Stop, Don’t Touch, Leave the Area, Tell an Adult.”

This day is very special to me, and the kids learn a lot. For many of the children, it is their first real experience with the outdoors, hunting or shooting sports. The main purpose of this day is to get kids outside and enjoy the outdoors safely. Since this is the first time many of the kids are exposed to firearms, we teach the children and their parents the right way to handle them. Before each event, I inform the kids about gun safety, teaching them to keep the guns on safe, keep fingers out of the trigger well and have the muzzle pointed in a safe direction. 

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us why you support NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program.

RH: I support this program because I am a firm believer in our 2nd Amendment rights and the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s firearm safety efforts. Project ChildSafe is focused on promoting gun safety to ensure the safety of our children and the community while protecting our rights. If you “own it, protect it, and secure it,” you are showing the community that gun owners are responsible and committed to safety and keeping guns away from those who shouldn’t have them. This is so important when people too often see only negative attention around gun ownership. 

 

July 21, 2017

Eddie Rimanelli is the founder and CEO of Brazen Sports, a Detroit-based watch company inspired by the passion of shooting sport enthusiasts. He has integrated firearms safe storage into his company by distributing free firearm locks to purchasers of his watches. In addition to this, Eddie announced his “Brazen Sports Give-Back Program” which will donate proceeds to various shooting sports associations to promote firearm safety. Eddie and Brazen Sports are firm supporters of Project ChildSafe.

Project ChildSafe: Why are firearms safety and responsible storage of firearms when not in use important?

ER: Firearms safety and responsible storage is important because I believe it's easy to develop a false confidence.  The responsibility for a firearm, including proper storage and prevention from unintended use of that firearm by others, lands squarely with the respective owner. With a knowledge of basic firearms fundamentals and proper training, a firearm is quite safe in the hands of its owner. However, when not under our direct control, firearms can fall into the hands of children and other unauthorized persons with the potential for accidents or other misuse. Gun owners are responsible for their firearm at all times and, therefore, must take proper safety measures to help prevent their guns from falling into the wrong hands.

I was 13 years old when I obtained my hunter safety permit and first began learning about firearm safety.  However, not all children have been given the same opportunities. Without proper guidance by parents and role models, children most likely have little to no understanding of basic firearm safety. This is when accidents can happen.  That’s why it’s important for parents whether they own firearms or not to talk to their children about gun safety and teach them how to respond should they find an unsecured gun, which is to: Don’t Touch, Leave the Area and Tell an Adult.

Proper firearm storage, such as storage in a gun safe or utilization of a gun lock, can be the best defense to the unwanted consequences of such accidents.  Simply stated by the Project ChildSafe Program: if we choose to own it, we should respect it and, therefore, it is critical to secure it when not under our direct control. 

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us a little about the things you do to help promote firearm safety in your community.

ER: Brazen Sports is a U.S.-based watch company that celebrates the passion of shooting and action sports enthusiasts by encouraging them to Dream Big, Face our Fears, and Live a Brazen Lifestyle. Our motto, “Be Brazen!” means to work hard to be the best. 

First and foremost, as individuals, we lead by example by properly locking and storing our own personal firearms. As a company, we promote firearm safety through our partnerships with the shooting sports and firearms community, like the Project ChildSafe Program. Through this partnership Brazen Sports has committed to include a complementary cable gunlock gift with every timepiece purchased across all our sales and marketing platforms.  In addition, we have instituted a “Brazen Sports Give-Back Program” which includes a consumer directed donation of $5 for each timepiece purchased to various shooting sports associations that practice responsible firearm training, safety and ownership. 

Designing exceptionally crafted products, promoting social responsibility, and supporting conservation organizations are the hallmarks of the company. As a non-traditional sponsor with a product line embracing the firearms industry, it is truly a privilege and great responsibility to serve the community as an "Ambassador of Goodwill" in the promotion of firearm safety on multiple levels.

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us why you support NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program.

ER: NSSF’s Project ChildSafe is a program committed to promoting firearm safety and education. The wisdom gained from the collective knowledge of industry professionals at the NSSF informed, in part, from the unfortunate life experiences of others can present us with life lessons and best practices that should be shared with our families and communities at large to help prevent future tragedy.  NSSF, and the Project ChildSafe Program in particular, need support from the corporate community to help provide the means to carry these messages.   

At Brazen Sports, we decided to align ourselves with companies and organizations such as NSSF, USA Shooting, USPSA and others that promote strong, moral character and responsible gun ownership.  The principles of gun safety curriculums and community support programs such as the Project ChildSafe Program truly make a difference and we are grateful for the commitment and support that NSSF has established nationwide. An informed community, collectively supporting responsible gun safety, can save lives. We at Brazen Sports are here to do our part. 

Thank you for this great honor and recognition.  

July 21, 2017

After 30 years of representing major hunting, fishing, and firearm companies, John Westerfield took over the reins of Yeager’s Sporting Goods in Bellingham, Washington. John has been a big supporter of Project ChildSafe for years and is eager to inform every Yeager’s customer about the importance of firearm storage and safety. He also played a pivotal role in the early stages of Project ChildSafe in the Bellingham area.

Project ChildSafe: Why are firearms safety and responsible storage of firearms when not in use important?

JW: Virtually everything sold in this country has some potential for doing harm in the wrong hands or if misused. Items with moving parts are most susceptible to this possibility, and firearms even more so as they are items of great value to criminals and items of great curiosity and mystery to children. We in the firearms industry are not responsible for what happens to a firearm after we sell it, but we can and should do everything in our power to encourage our customers to secure their firearms in ways and places that make it nearly impossible to prevent the likelihood of a criminal or child getting their hands on it.

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us a little about the things you do to help promote firearms safety in your community.

JW: We have recently converted 16 linear feet of retail space to offer a larger variety or home firearms security products. Prior to that, and to date, everyone who works in our firearms section is thoroughly schooled on firearms safety and try to pass that on to anyone who will listen. We are hosts of Tom Gresham's Gun Talk radio show and most of our ads on that program are about gun safety. We also hand out NSSF firearms security pamphlets with every firearm we sell and insure that there is a gun lock with every firearm that goes out our door. Most new firearms come with gun locks, but for those that do not, or any used or consigned firearms we have in stock, we add gun locks to them.

 

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us why you support NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program.

JW: Firearm safety is even more important when it comes to children. As stated, their curiosity and lack of understanding about the dangers and possible consequences of handling firearms is such that we must all go to extra lengths to insure that they have no opportunity to be part of a tragedy. NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program is one very good way to help continue the downward rate of incidences involving firearms and children. We are so convinced of it here at Yeager's that we now supply three pediatric clinics in our area with gun locks to hand out to families that visit them.

July 17, 2017

Kanda Keepers of Oklahoma City understands the importance of gun accountability. She is an active member and leader of the Oklahoma chapter of The Well Armed Woman organization, a nonprofit that seeks to train women in proper gun usage, firearms storage, and safe handling. Using her knowledge and background in firearms, Kanda wishes to clarify common misconceptions of gun owners and promote awareness towards gun safety.

Project ChildSafe: In your own words, why are firearms safety and responsible storage of firearms when not in use important?

KK: Personally, I think safe and responsible storage of firearms should be one of the fundamental rules of firearms safety.  I’ve been a firearms owner for decades and have seen great emphasis on careful handling of a firearm while in use.  However, as we have seen, the failures of gun storage are covered in the news far more extensively than those who safely store firearms. It breaks my heart for the families whose lives are forever altered by a gun incident, which may have been easily and effortlessly addressed with proper gun education and storage.

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us a little about the things you do to help promote firearms safety in your community.

KK: Being a leader of The Well Armed Woman and Oklahoma Shooting Skills staff, people ask me various questions about firearms, ranging from choosing a firearm to concealed carrying best practices.  In conversation, I try to introduce the subject of safe and responsible gun storage. Even with existing firearms owners, there are many misconceptions regarding what is considered safe and responsible. 

As a State Leader for The Well Armed Woman (TWAW), I have encouraged the leaders of our chapters throughout the state of Oklahoma to present Project ChildSafe to their members to further the cause with women already seeking gun education and experience. My hope is for the message to be conveyed by all TWAW leaders to their members.

I also like to speak with parents about their children, who may go over to the homes of friends whose families happen to be gun owners. It’s a great opportunity for the parents and extended family to discuss safe and responsible firearms storage. I believe conveying expectations of responsible gun ownership is important.

My intent is for each person introduced to Project ChildSafe to advocate the principle of safe firearms storage to others they may encounter. The effectiveness of one individual is marginal, but the message delivered from many is a wave for change.

 

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us why you support NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program.

KK: The news likes to deliver instances of failure regarding firearms safety, the ultimate price being paid by the lives of children, at risk individuals, and victims of crimes involving firearms obtained through theft.  One such loss is too great and any action to raise awareness is worthy if it will save the life of even one person.

Firearms advocates and anti-firearms advocates both can agree on the principle of safe and responsible firearms storage.  Getting the public involved in a program like Project ChildSafe has the potential to change the trajectory of many lives.  My hope is the actions taken now will have a positive effect for generations to come and eventually eliminate incidents with firearms that safe and responsible storage can help resolve.

July 17, 2017

Since taking up shooting in 1996, Suzi Rouse has been an active advocate for responsible and safe firearms storage. Suzi is the Oklahoma City Gun Club’s first female president in the club’s 60+ year history. Suzi has been an instrumental partner for Project ChildSafe’s Focus Community in Oklahoma City. We are thrilled to recognize her as one of 2017’s S.A.F.E. Summer Champions.

Project ChildSafe: Why are firearms safety and responsible storage of firearms when not in use important?

SR: Safety and education are the first steps in responsible firearms ownership – more important than one’s marksmanship skills.  Everyone who owns a gun should have a clear plan for safe gun storage options.  No matter if you live by yourself or have a family, it is of vital importance to know that your firearms are safely secured. We must all be hypervigilant when it comes to use and storage of firearms in the home. After all, there are no second chances when a firearm accident occurs.

 

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us a little about the things you do to help promote firearms safety in your community.

SR: I started a women-only instructional shooting clinic 18 years ago, with the help of the NRA Women on Target program, and since then it has grown into the largest shooting clinic in the nation for women.  Through this program, we have introduced thousands of women to the shooting world with safety being the primary focus.  In addition to the women’s clinic, I provide firearms training to dozens of Boy Scout troops in the Oklahoma City metro area so they can obtain their shooting merit badge. Safety with a firearm always wins out over proficiency when it comes to my students.

 

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us why you support NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program.

SR: Project ChildSafe is a fantastic program to provide information and education as to safe storage options.  The fact that they provide a safety device for your firearms at absolutely no cost to the public is a true testament to the commitment of the firearms industry. I am proud to be a part of this initiative to educate and empower gun owners to uphold firearms safety and proper use by securing and preventing unauthorized access to firearms.  

July 7, 2017

Name: Officer Sam DeFelice, Conservation Enforcement Officer

Department: Connecticut State Environmental Conservation (ENCON) Police

How does your agency distribute Project ChildSafe gun locks and safety materials in your community?

The CT State ENCON Police distribute gun locks at community outreach events such as hunting and fishing shows.  We also use our social media platforms to discuss firearms safety topics such as proper firearms handling, firearms storage, range safety, hunting safety as well as speaking to our youth about firearms safety.

Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?

The CT State ENCON Police face unique challenges being a conservation law enforcement agency.  We do not have traditional jurisdictional boundaries like a municipal police agency so reaching out to our recreational outdoor community can be difficult.  Project ChildSafe helps us bridge that gap through public awareness and education.

How has access to free gun locks and safety materials impacted your community?

We have been able to provide gun owners a level of safety and security whether it be in their home or in the field.  Our educational campaign via social media has been able to provide resources to parents about speaking to their children about firearms safety.

How can residents in your in community and communities across the country become more involved in spreading the message of safety?

Regardless if you are a gun owner or not, it is critically important to speak to our youth about firearms safety.  Recently a group of kindergarten aged children were walking to school and noticed a firearm on the ground near a school entrance.  The children kept other students away from the firearm and notified school officials, who in turn notified the respective law enforcement agency.  This is a perfect example of the need to spread the word and educate our youth on firearm safety.

In addition to firearm safety, what are some of the best safety practices families can incorporate in their homes?

Always have a plan!  Make sure your family has a plan of action in the event of an emergency, and everyone in the family knows the plan.

Always wear a life jacket when heading out on the water.  Especially those who use kayaks and canoes.

If your heading out for a hike, a hunt or for a day on the water, make sure someone knows where you will be and when you will return.