Blog Archive, 2018

December 17, 2018

Over the last two years, Project ChildSafe has distributed approximately 40,000 free gun locks in Memphis, Cleveland and Oklahoma City through local outreach, events and assistance from supporters. The program has also established 54 community partnerships with local law enforcement agencies and organizations, equipping them with the necessary tools and resources to help spread the message of safe and responsible firearms storage.  

Project ChildSafe’s efforts is a result of the two-year, $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (DOJ-BJA) to launch community-wide firearms safety initiatives in pilot communities. Together with the BJA, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Project ChildSafe Communities and local partners have raised firearms safety awareness through distribution of educational materials, partner outreach, public service announcements and city-wide gun lock giveaways. The initiative has helped to educate gun owners and the public on the importance of firearms safety and safe storage in order to help prevent firearms accidents, thefts and misuse.

“These communities have seen directly how firearms accidents and misuse affect families, and how accidents could have been prevented,” said NSSF CEO Steve Sanetti. “Over the last two years, we’ve been able to deepen partnerships in these communities to help create a culture of firearms safety. We’ve accomplished a lot through the initiative, and we will continue to support our communities with a program they can model.”

These partners, ranging from local government officials and police departments to local chapters of organizations such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, have been vital Project ChildSafe’s efforts in these communities. Supporters such as Miles Hall with Hall N Hall Consulting, a firearms safety advocate in Oklahoma City, have helped underscore the importance of secure firearms storage. Hall and his wife, Jayne, actively distribute firearms safety locks and recruit local supporters in the area, playing a key role in engaging local retailers and schools in distributing firearms safety materials in the community.

“Working with Project ChildSafe to promote firearms safety and safe storage is truly a collaborative effort, and I’m seeing the impact the program is making on my community,” said Hall. “If we continue to work together with programs like Project ChildSafe, we can do even more to help prevent firearms tragedies.”

Support from committed local partners has made it possible to provide thousands of locks and safety materials across the regions:

· With the help of local organizations, Project ChildSafe launched a year-long, community-led effort in Cleveland in May 2018 to provide thousands of free gun locks throughout the region. To date, Project ChildSafe has distributed more than 12,000 gun locks and established 16 new partners, including Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, Delta Waterfowl, 4-H Shooting Sports and Metro Health Police Department, among others.  

· Community efforts in Memphis have been successful, with more than 17,000 gun locks distributed in the region and 15 new partnerships made with local organizations, including the Office of Mayor Jim Strickland, the National African American Gun Owners Association, University of Memphis and Range USA, among others.

· Project ChildSafe has distributed more than 10,000 gun locks in Oklahoma City and engaged 23 local partners with the program, including the Oklahoma City Gun Club, the Oklahoma City Police Department and the Oklahoma Army National Guard, among others.

Nationally, Project ChildSafe, which was established in 1999 as a firearms safety education program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry, has established partnerships with more than 15,000 local law enforcement agencies in communities across the country and engaged more than 8,500 organizational supporters. The program has helped educate firearms owners on the importance of gun safety in communities across all 50 states and five U.S. territories, and distributed more than 38 million free firearms safety kits.

The 2017 U.S. Government Accountability Office report concluded that free locking devices positively influenced public behavior to store firearms more safely. Through Project ChildSafe, communities are able to keep secure firearms storage top of mind year-round.

However, we need your help to continue promoting genuine firearms safety. That’s why Project ChildSafe is committed to empowering local leaders to make firearms safety a priority by enabling them to tailor elements of the program to address specific, local needs. Gun owners can also practice firearms safety by obtaining a free firearm safety kit – including a gun lock – at local law enforcement agencies across the country. Additionally, a variety of educational resources are available and free online.

For more information on Project ChildSafe and how to get involved, visit projectchildsafe.org.

December 14, 2018

Name: Sheriff Craig Roberts

Department: Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (Clackamas, OR)


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

The gun locks are distributed in two ways –

1)     Gun locks and safety materials are offered to gun owners who attend community events, including the Clackamas County Fair, safety and wellness events and other community events, fairs and festivals throughout the county.

2)     Community members who use our Public Safety Training Center (PSTC) firearms range are provided free gun locks upon request. Interested residents can learn more about the PSTC at PublicSafetyTrainingCenter.com.


Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?

Our county is a large mix of urban, rural and forest land with over 400,000 residents; more than half own guns for personal safety, for hunting and for sport. Project ChildSafe gives us an ongoing opportunity to talk to the public about gun safety, and help prevent accidental deaths and injuries by reducing the number of unsecured firearms in our community.


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

While we can’t measure the precise impact, we do believe we're seeing an increase in public awareness that gun locks are a necessary component of responsible gun ownership. Folks are generally very open to receiving the safety materials and gun locks.


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

Many of our residents are involved in coalitions for youth safety and suicide prevention. Gun locks can easily become an integral piece of their messaging — and thanks in part to Project ChildSafe, we're here to help. Our office can be a tremendous resource for residents who want to take an active role in building safer communities.

December 3, 2018

The holidays are here, and family and friends across the country will soon gather in celebration of the season. December comes with an added focus on safety, as children spend more time at home and families prepare to host guests or visit loved ones. Fire prevention and travel safety are usually top-of-mind during this time of year, but it’s equally important to practice firearms safety.

“As more children are home over the holidays, there’s a greater chance they may encounter or handle a gun without supervision, posing a risk of accidental harm to themselves or others,” said National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) CEO Steve Sanetti. “The holidays are an important time to emphasize responsible firearms storage, and Project ChildSafe has a wealth of educational materials available to help gun owners and their families practice firearms safety during the holiday season.”

This year, consider adding a new tradition to your safety checklist with a review of firearms safety practices:

  1. Store firearms unloaded when not in use and secure from unauthorized access in the home or while traveling. Thoroughly double check firearms to confirm they are unloaded. Gun locking devices, when used in conjunction with secure storage systems such as lock boxes and gun safes can provide a double measure of safety and security. Click here to find out where you can pick up a free Project ChildSafe Safety Kit, which includes a cable-style gun lock and safety instructions. You can also check out Project ChildSafe’s gun storage options to find one that is best suited to your lifestyle.
  2. Store firearms and ammunition separately and out of sight. Separate storage provides another level of security against accidents, and it’s well known that a visible firearm is often a temptation, for children or for thieves.  If you are hosting for the holidays, review the ten tips for firearms safety as a refresher on safe storage fundamentals for firearms in the home.
  3. Firearms in vehicles require proper storage too.  If you are traveling for the holidays, or enjoying time off for a hunting trip, your firearm may be in your vehicle. Take a look at Project ChildSafe’s brochure about firearms safety in vehicles.
  4. Talk to your kids about firearms safety. It is important that children become familiar with the rules of firearms safety and practice them whether in their homes or the homes of others. Learn from competitive shooting sports champion Julie Golob as she discusses the sometimes challenging conversation of firearms safety with children, and start by teaching them what to do if they find a gun with the help of McGruff the Crime Dog. Once your kids understand the rules of firearms safety, have them sign the pledge promising to stay safe around firearms.
  5. Test your knowledge of firearms safety. While your current storage method and safety practices may be suitable for your current lifestyle, it is important to remember that environments and situations change while hosting or visiting friends and family. Discern fact from fiction with Project ChildSafe’s Myth Busters Quiz.

Visit projectchildsafe.org to learn more. For additional firearms safety resources, click here.

November 2, 2018

The Project ChildSafe team recently spoke with outdoorsman and firearms safety advocate Steven Rinella. Steve is the host of the Netflix show MeatEater and hosts The MeatEater Podcast. He's also the author of six books, including The MeatEater Fish and Game Cookbook: Recipes and Techniques for Every Hunter and Angler.

How did you start hunting and how did that lead to where you are now?

I started hunting at a very young age. I come from a long line of hunters; my father and grandfather both hunted, and we always had guns in our home. Growing up, I always wanted to be a professional trapper, with the backup plan of working as an outdoor writer. After I finished grad school, I started working as an outdoor writer for magazines, which led me into books, and finally led me into television and podcasts. I’ve stayed true to what I originally intended to do: spend time in the outdoors. All of this experience has culminated to where I am today, working with MeaterEater, Inc. as the host of MeatEater TV and MeatEater podcast.

Hunting is such a big part of your life. How do you practice safe and ethical hunting?

One of the things that helped me become even more aware of gun safety and my personal gun handling habits, both good and bad, was filming MeatEater. Most of our crew isn’t as familiar -- or comfortable -- with firearms as I am. Therefore, it’s very important for me to be aware of my handling practices and of how our team prioritizes firearms safety. We work to codify how we can safely function as a team while on the hunt, ensuring we develop best practices to remain safe throughout the entire filming process. For us, this includes carrying appropriate safety equipment, wearing proper hunter clothing, and being aware of our surroundings and others before shooting.

What do you know now about hunting that you wish you knew when you first started?

I wish I had spent more time practicing my “weaker” skills rather than always letting someone else take the lead while on the hunt. For example, my brother has always been good at game calling, something that was never one of my strongest skills. It would have been beneficial to practice and improve upon my skills more often instead of letting him always game call. Additionally, I grew up hunting deer over bait. I wish that I had focused on learning a different style of deer hunting and learned more about natural deer movements when I was younger. I would have liked to know more about resources and educational materials that are available for hunters, too. Project ChildSafe’s Hunt S.A.F.E. campaign is a helpful reminder to prioritize firearms safety, responsibility and education – something that is important regardless if you’re just starting out as a hunter or are very experienced.
What advice would you give to someone interested in learning more about hunting or trying hunting for the first time?

First, if you’re interested in trying or learning to hunt, you should go and spend time with people who are familiar with hunting. It can be hard to do if you did not grow up in this community, but it is incredibly helpful to learn from seasoned hunters. One tactic is getting involved with local conservation groups. You don’t have to be an expert to join. Just get involved, pull your weight in the group and learn from the experts around you – and the people there will respect your efforts and help you along your learning journey.

Secondly, you need to realize that there is a huge learning curve. It’s good to go into it with humility, since not all hunts will be exciting. There will be many disappointing hunting trips in which you won’t get anything – but that happens to everyone, especially for lifelong hunters.

Why do you support Project ChildSafe and firearms safety?

Nine years ago, I wouldn’t have felt that I had anything significant to contribute to the firearms safety conversation, as I practiced safe storage by habit. Having children, however, reframed safe storage in my home. Firearms safety is something that my wife and I actively plan, discuss and think about every day. I want my kids to be responsible gun owners and enjoy firearms when they grow up, but with that comes practicing firearms safety. It is my goal to constantly reinforce this message by my behavior and set a responsible example.

Project ChildSafe is a great program and resource to raise awareness around the importance of firearms safety. It also provides resources for different lifestyles and for those who may need help starting the conversation with their children about firearms.


Project ChildSafe wants to promote S.A.F.E. hunting and remind outdoorsmen and women to Store your firearms responsibly when not in use; Always practice firearms safety; Focus on your responsibilities as a firearms owner; and Education is key to preventing accidents. For more tips to ensure a safe hunt, check out Project ChildSafe’s hunting checklist, brochure, and toolkit and take our Hunt S.A.F.E. quiz!


November 2, 2018

The Project ChildSafe team recently sat down with firearms safety advocate and hunting celebrity Eva Shockey. Eva is a wildlife conservationist, an outdoors enthusiast and co-host of Outdoor Channel’s “Jim Shockey’s Hunting Adventures.” We chatted with her about hunting and the importance of firearms safety in the field. 

Can you tell us about your background, how you were introduced to the world of hunting and how that led to where you are today?

My dad has been involved in the hunting world for my entire life. During my childhood, there were many hunting trips that were disguised as family vacations. This introduced me to being comfortable in the woods and learning to appreciate nature and wildlife. It was in this setting where I learned about the concept of field-to-table eating and having an appreciation and understanding of where my food comes from. Being around my dad’s T.V. show since I was 15 years old only strengthened my love for hunting and promoting a healthy outdoor lifestyle. This eventually turned into a career that I truly enjoy every day, promoting family, camping, hunting, fishing and encouraging everyone to get outdoors. 

How do you go about practicing safety on the hunt?

Hunting safety has been engrained in my family for as long as I can remember. I learned about firearms safety before I started hunting, and the critical nature of safe gun handling was only further reinforced in the field. To my family, this meant respecting firearms and not treating them like toys – something that quickly became second nature for me. The lessons I learned very early on in life rolled over into taking safety very seriously while hunting. These habits range from never having your finger on the trigger unless you are prepared to shoot to wearing proper attire that is clearly visible, like hunter orange.

What tips do you have for a new or prospective hunter?

The best way to learn about hunting and hunting safely is to talk to someone who has been around it for a long time. If you don’t know any experienced hunters, seek educational resources. When I first started shooting, I took a gun safety course that taught how to shoot and handle a gun safely while reinforcing tips for how to always keep those lessons top-of-mind. I still practice what I learned from that class to this day. Additionally, I would urge new hunters to fully immerse themselves in the process, be comfortable with their firearms and create a safe environment free of surprises.

Do you have any tips for seasoned hunters?

It is our responsibility to pass on the rich tradition of hunting to the next generation. Include others and encourage them to have a safe and fun hunting experience. Invite those interested along with you, help them out and show them the ropes. I also find that putting ego to the side and making safety the number one priority is important for experienced hunters. In my family, we have taken our egos out of the hunting equation. It is a rule that when you hunt with us, you should not only feel comfortable pointing out to someone that they aren’t exhibiting safe hunting behavior, but you are required to do so. This means flagging unsafe habits to even the most seasoned hunters, something that might be uncomfortable in some groups. I only hunt with people who share this philosophy so that I know our common goal is to have a safe and successful hunt.

How do you advocate for S.A.F.E. hunting?

I like to promote firearms safety at every stage of the hunt. Familiarizing myself with local rules and policies is a key component of any trip, so I start with understanding the regulations of any relevant state, county or city. Once that is done, it is all about encouraging firearms safety, from checking if a gun is loaded to trigger and muzzle discipline. Even when I work with film or photography crews, encouraging firearms safety is essential – even if it means stepping in to enforce safety.  

Project ChildSafe wants to promote S.A.F.E. hunting and remind outdoorsmen and -women to Store your firearms responsibly when not in use; Always practice firearms safety; Focus on your responsibilities as a firearms owner; and Education is key to preventing accidents. For more tips to ensure a safe hunt, check out Project ChildSafe’s hunting checklistbrochure, and toolkit and take our Hunt S.A.F.E. quiz!

October 17, 2018

The Project ChildSafe team recently sat down with Project ChildSafe supporter Ryan Cleckner. Ryan is a former Army Ranger sniper team leader, bestselling author and firearms expert. We chatted with him about his latest book, "There’s Only One You," which focuses on teaching firearms safety to children.

Can you tell us a little about your background and how firearms safety become such a priority to you and your family?

I’ve been around firearms all of my life, as I grew up hunting and shooting in Arizona. As a young child, my dad always obliged whenever I expressed interest in seeing his firearms or if I wanted to shoot. Looking back, I found this particularly effective. It offered me the opportunity to regularly examine my dad’s firearms, and it demystified guns in a safe environment. I later joined the Army and made my way into the elite 1st Ranger Battalion of the 75th Ranger Regiment as a special operations sniper.

What inspired you to write a book specifically geared toward teaching firearms safety to children?

“There’s Only One You” is very personal to me. My family is portrayed throughout the illustrations, and I’ve dedicated it to my daughter, Alice, who was the inspiration behind the book. I remember one day in particular, when Alice came home from school and told me about the various safety drills they had practiced. It hit me as she talked about how they had practiced pool safety and fire drills – why aren’t we discussing the importance of firearms safety with our children? We teach them safety for so many other issues, but it’s very important that our children understand firearms safety. Even if you are a parent and not a gun owner, there is still a chance that one of your children’s friends has a firearm in their home. In that case, it’s important that they understand how to act (or react) around it. Adults have a responsibility to teach their children about the importance of firearms safety.

How do you practice firearms safety at home and teach your children about the importance of firearms safety?

Firearms safety is very important to me. Whenever I take Alice shooting, I always make her recite the four rules of firearms safety. However, even though we go over them regularly, it is notably harder for children to remember the rules of firearms safety. I took this knowledge into account when I wrote “There’s Only One You.” The book encourages children to always find an adult if they encounter an unsecured firearm. Additionally, I always ensure that firearms are under the complete control of an adult or safely secured; children should never have unauthorized access to unsecured firearms.

How does “There’s Only One You” fit in with your support of Project ChildSafe?

We need to be discussing firearms safety for children – we’re doing a disservice to ourselves if we are ignoring the importance of firearms safety. Project ChildSafe is an organization that already provides resources to educate people about firearms safety, and “There’s Only One You” is a great resource to help parents have the important discussion about firearms safety with their children.

Ryan Cleckner is a former Army Ranger sniper team leader, current bestselling author, and firearms attorney at RocketFFL. His passions for teaching and firearms are coming together soon at GunUniversity.com. For now, he’s focused on helping to keep kids safe with a school safety app, MaydaySafety; and his latest book, There’s Only One You.

July 30, 2018

Miles Hall is a familiar face in Oklahoma City and a lifelong firearms safety advocate. He’s recognized for his appearance in several local Oklahoma City public service announcements (PSAs) that underscore the importance of secure firearms storage, and has never been one to shy away from important conversations about personal responsibility in relation to firearms ownership.

Firearms have been a part of Hall’s life for as long as he can remember. Being a former indoor gun range owner, business consultant, husband and father, he keeps firearms safety top-of-mind and incorporates it into his everyday life where he serves as an example to friends, colleagues and, most importantly, to children.

“A gun is a tool,” says Hall. “Kids need to learn how to respect it and, with supervision, to use it properly – education is always important.”

Hall taught his own children how to shoot, with the intent to demystify them, replacing fear with respect and curiosity with competency. He also shares Project ChildSafe’s ethos of “Own It? Respect It. Secure It.” This emphasis proved effective time and time again. In one instance, his young son found an unsecured firearm at a friend’s house and immediately ran home to tell Hall, lessening the likelihood of a firearms-related accident.

Hall has been involved with Project ChildSafe in Oklahoma City since the initial launch of the gun safety program in January 2017, and has been an active advocate of Project ChildSafe for many years prior. As the former owner of one of the top gun ranges in the country, Hall and his wife Jayne have actively distributed firearms safety locks and recruited local supporters in the area. In 2018, Hall also partnered with the local law enforcement and distributed over 200 locks. He even played a key role in getting local retailers and schools involved in distributing firearm safety materials in Oklahoma City.  

Project ChildSafe is proud to recognize Hall as its S.A.F.E. Summer Champion in Oklahoma City for his lifelong efforts in raising awareness and promoting firearms safety and education. Supporters like Hall, nationwide, help to ensure that gun owners securely store their firearms when not in use.

Hall feels the impact of his efforts each time he doesn’t read a headline about a firearms-related accident. “I’ve had people tell me that they saw the firearms safety PSA and that it helped save the life of their friend or family member,” said Hall.

We are pleased to shine a light on Hall’s important work through the sixth annual S.A.F.E. Summer campaign. "S.A.F.E." serves as an acronym for Store your firearms responsibly when not in use; Always practice firearms safety; Focus on your responsibilities as a firearms owner; and Education is key to preventing accidents. The effort is focused on providing resources to help gun owners take actions and share information that will help keep their families and communities safer.

For other gun safety materials and tips, please visit our resource library and review Project ChildSafe’s 10 Tips for Firearms Safety.

You can also find a gun safety kit in your area through our law enforcement partner list.

July 23, 2018

For Jack Logan, gun safety is more than a priority – it is a passion. Logan’s efforts go beyond distributing gun locks in his community, where he regularly walks door-to-door to distribute firearms safety kits.  A Greenville, South Carolina, native, Logan travels the country shepherding the message of safe gun storage to communities impacted by firearms accidents. Logan has made it his personal mission to remind gun owners to practice firearms safety effectively.

Not a gun owner himself, Logan could not have imagined becoming a vocal supporter of firearms safety. Logan was originally approached to get involved in gun safety education efforts after a series of gun-related crimes and accidents occurred in his community. Originally, he did not engage. However, after the passing of a close friend who believed in firearms safety, coupled with mentions of kids and guns in the news, Logan took up the cause and embarked on a grassroots campaign in Greenville to educate kids not to pick up guns. This campaign today is known as “Put Down the Guns Now Young People.”

Since founding the group, Jack has worked tirelessly to distribute gun safety locks to those in need. He began working with the local sheriff’s department to disseminate gun locks in minority neighborhoods and, soon after, partnered with Project ChildSafe to distribute more than 500 locks to local families in his community.

Today, Project ChildSafe is proud to recognize Logan as its S.A.F.E. Summer Champion in Greensville for his efforts to spread the importance of firearms safety to the community while also raising the importance of safe storage. Supporters like Logan, nationwide, help to ensure that gun owners “Own It? Respect It. Secure It.”

“It feels good knowing that with these locks and educational materials there is less of a chance a child could get hurt by a gun. Knowing we saved someone’s life or someone from getting hurt; that’s how I know I’m making an impact,” said Logan. "I just want to keep people safe.”

We are pleased to shine a light on Logan’s important work through the sixth annual S.A.F.E. Summer campaign. "S.A.F.E." serves as an acronym for Store your firearms responsibly when not in use; Always practice firearms safety; Focus on your responsibilities as a firearms owner; and Education is key to preventing accidents. The effort is focused on providing resources to help gun owners take action and share information that will help keep their families and communities safer.

For other gun safety materials and tips, please visit our resource library and review Project ChildSafe’s 10 Tips for Firearms Safety.

You can also find a gun safety kit in your area through our law enforcement partner list.

July 16, 2018

Since 2000, the number of women gun owners has dramatically increased, with self and home defense ranking as the number one reason women choose to own a gun (Source: NSSF Girl Power Infographic). For most of her life, Javondlynn Dunagan never thought she would be one of those women – let alone become an active firearms safety advocate and educator.

Dunagan, a retired Chicago federal probation officer of 25 years, didn’t envision owning a firearm. Throughout her career, Dunagan was not required to carry a gun, nor did she think it would significantly enhance safety in her home. However, she was married to a police officer, who owned firearms, and that helped her feel safe. It wasn’t until her divorce that she understood why so many women embrace firearms as a form of personal independence and protection. Initially cautious when it came to firearms, Dungan committed to learning how best to responsibly own and use a gun.

“It was time to get over my fears, but to do that I needed to make sure I was trained and educated on how to properly use [a firearm],” said Dunagan.

Prior to retiring as a probation officer, Dunagan completed a firearms training course and began taking solo trips to the gun range in an effort to refine her shooting skills. Soon enough, she felt confident, empowered and safer. During her time at the gun range, one thing was clear to Dunagan: too few women came in to shoot. Understanding that many women want a sense of security yet also recognizing possible anxieties associated with owning firearms, Dunagan decided to empower women to take responsibility for their own safety through self-defense training and firearms education.

Today, Project ChildSafe is proud to recognize Dunagan as its S.A.F.E. Summer Champion in Chicago for her efforts to empower women in the community while raising the importance of responsible firearms ownership and gun safety. Supporters like Dunagan nationwide help to ensure that gun owners “Own It? Respect It. Secure It.”

In 2017, Dunagan started her business, JMD Defense & Investigations, and became the founder of the Ladies of Steel gun club, through which more than 100 women have learned how to responsibly handle firearms. Dunagan went from being apprehensive around firearms to becoming fiercely committed to proper firearms usage and gun safety education. Her work also includes partnerships with local law enforcement agencies and distributing nearly 100 Project ChildSafe gun locks.

“It’s a good feeling knowing that I can help other women overcome their own fears and become responsible gun owners,” said Dunagan, who also advocates for five central tips about firearms safety for women and firearms novices generally:

  1. Take a class on basic firearms education.
  2. Have a personal firearms record card – record the firearm, serial number and transaction information.
  3. Clean your gun on a regular basis.
  4. Make sure your firearm is properly stored when not in use.
  5. Conduct a firearm check before guests arrive at your home and make sure it is secured.

We are pleased to shine a light on Dunagan’s important work through the sixth annual S.A.F.E. Summer campaign. "S.A.F.E." serves as an acronym for Store your firearms responsibly when not in use; Always practice firearms safety; Focus on your responsibilities as a firearms owner; and Education is key to preventing accidents. The effort is focused on providing resources to help gun owners take actions and share information that will help keep their families and communities safer.

For other gun safety materials and tips, please visit our resource library and review Project ChildSafe’s 10 Tips for Firearms Safety.

You can also find a gun safety kit in your area through our law enforcement partner list.

July 9, 2018

Cheryl Bone has never been one to settle for the conventional. From studying nursing, to serving as a law enforcement lieutenant, to joining a music ministry, and finally becoming a chaplain in her community—at 72 years old—Cheryl’s life is anything but ordinary.  

One thing has remained constant in her varied life, however: Practicing, teaching and advocating firearms safety. Her work and passion to spread the gun safety and safe storage messages are a big part her life. As a result, Project ChildSafe is proud to name Cheryl its S.A.F.E. Summer Champion in Memphis.

Cheryl has distributed hundreds of Project ChildSafe firearm safety kits that include a gun lock at local events, reaching people far beyond her Memphis community. She is a familiar face at school career fairs, and is often recognized for passing along gun locks and resources to youth in hopes of encouraging parents to securely store their firearms.

As a trusted member of the local faith community and a strong partner to law enforcement agencies that need help distributing gun locks, she is a true advocate for Project ChildSafe and its mission.

“I advocate for gun safety because I’m passionate about it, and I don’t want to see any more children die from preventable firearms accidents,” said Cheryl.

According to Cheryl, children and teens are comfortable and willing to talk to her about their parents’ firearms storage practices, and she always makes an effort to give at least one gun lock to each student with whom she connects.

Firearms safety has been a part of Cheryl’s life from a very young age, dating back to her early childhood years when her father taught her how to use his 20-gauge Iver Johnson shotgun. At five years old, she was instilled with the vital importance of firearms safety – something she still vividly remembers. The most important lesson she learned back then was that the 20-gauge Iver Johnson was not a toy.

Ever since, she has made it her mission to help everyone become a safe and responsible gun owner. That dedication formally took hold in 1968 when she started a career in law enforcement and became the first female police officer for the University of Tennessee police department to work the Memphis streets.  

Because of her exposure to guns at a young age and her dad’s positive influence on proper firearms storage and gun safety, Cheryl recognizes how crucial it is to begin having conversations with children sooner rather than later. She believes teaching from the bottom up and not top down will help save more young children from accidental injuries and deaths. A gun owner herself, Cheryl always practices safe storage. It gives her piece of mind to know that when her grandchildren come to visit, her firearms are locked up and out of reach.

Project ChildSafe is proud to partner with supporters like Cheryl Bone nationwide to ensure that gun owners “Own It? Respect It. Secure It.” We are pleased to shine a light on Cheryl’s important work through the sixth annual S.A.F.E. Summer campaign. "S.A.F.E." serves as an acronym for Store your firearms responsibly when not in use; Always practice firearm safety; Focus on your responsibilities as a firearm owner; and Education is key to preventing accidents. The effort is focused on providing resources to help gun owners take actions and share information that will help keep their families and communities safer.


For other gun safety materials and tips, please visit our resource library.

Find a gun safety kit in your area through our law enforcement partner list.