A PROGRAM OF THE NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION

Blog Archive, 2017

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.

April 24, 2017

Name: Sergeant Stephen Johnston (twitter: @hpdjohnston)

Department: Hiram Police Department, Hiram, Georgia

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

We distribute Project Child Safe gun locks and safety material in the lobby of the Hiram Police Department Monday through Friday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., as well as at all of our public safety outreach events.

Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?

We are proud to partner with Project ChildSafe due to its long-standing commitment to making communities safer – which is one of the Hiram Police Department’s core missions. As a small agency, we have limited funds, which prevents us from providing free gun locks and safety kits to our community. However, the partnership with Project Childsafe aids us in making this crucial safety device available for any member of our community or surrounding communities.

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

It allows us to provide both the gun owners and their children with important safety information that will hopefully prevent any gun-related accidents in our community. Gun safety education is not always readily available to gun owners due to cost or lifestyle, and Project ChildSafe helps us fill this important gap in our community.

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

Early education is key. The sooner gun owners and community members can educate our youth and those new to handling firearms about safe practices, the better. We encourage our community members to follow us on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and share our safety-related content.

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

-          Take a personal safety course

-          Always be aware of your surroundings

-          Create safety plans with your family

-          Learn CPR

-          Install lighting and cameras on the exterior of your home

-          Make sure you have a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector

-          Make sure child passengers are properly restrained by a child safety seat

March 28, 2017

The National Safety Council’s Injury Facts - 2017 Edition shows that between 2014 and 2015 accidental deaths by firearms declined by 17 percent, even as firearms sales significantly increased during that time.

In a press release, National Shooting Sports Foundation President and CEO Steve Sanetti applauded the work of responsible gun owners for securely storing their firearms when not in use.  Sanetti noted the contributions of NSSF’s Project ChildSafe’s program in helping to create a culture of firearm safety in communities throughout the country. “The many firearms safety educational programs sponsored by the firearms industry and firearms safety instructors nationwide, such as the NSSF’s Project ChildSafe, are a part of the reason for this ever-downward trend in firearms accidents,” said Sanetti.

Any community in the United States can help increase awareness of safe firearms handing and storage by becoming a partner with Project ChildSafe through its local law enforcement department. See ProjectChildSafe.org for partnering information. Learn more about NSSF’s press release by clicking here.

March 6, 2017

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.

January 13, 2017

2016 was a big year for Project ChildSafe! Thanks to the support and donations from responsible firearm ownership champions like you, we were able to create and refresh resources that promote gun safety in home and at the range.

As we move forward this year, we want you to ensure that you are aware and equipped with relevant Project ChildSafe materials. Check out our resource page and find assets that can help you learn, share and promote the need to secure firearms when not in use, all in one place.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Want to get involved with Project ChildSafe? Make a donation, sign the pledge or “like” us on Facebook!