A PROGRAM OF THE NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION

Blog Archive, December 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.