A PROGRAM OF THE NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION

Blog Archive,

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.

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!

August 29, 2016

Project ChildSafe is thrilled with the announcement of the partnership between the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Responsible gun storage is something on which we can all agree, and by working together we can help keep our homes and communities safe. This article was originally published on afsp.org.

 

 

AFSP and NSSF: Tremendous Potential to Save Lives

 

By Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF President & CEO

The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention represents an exciting new opportunity to help reduce the misuse of firearms in America.

As the trade association for the firearms industry, NSSF has for more than 50 years encouraged gun owners to safely handle and securely store their firearms. Through brochures such as Firearms Responsibility in the Home, videos like Firearms Safety Depends on You, infographics such as Safe Storage Options for Your Lifestyle and our Project ChildSafe and “Own It? Respect It. Secure It” initiatives, we remind people that safely storing firearms is the No. 1 way to help prevent misuse, accidents and thefts.

Suicide prevention is not an entirely new area of involvement for NSSF. In recent years, we have worked with the Veterans Administration, the State of Utah and mental health agencies to help educate gun owners and the public on how to keep firearms safely out of reach of those who may wish to do themselves harm, as well as helping to reduce firearms accidents, already at historic low levels, even further.

What is new, however, is that our partnership with AFSP will enable NSSF to play an important role in a first-of-its-kind national effort to distribute jointly developed suicide prevention educational materials to gun owners. We’ll reach the firearms community through the help of firearms retailers and shooting ranges, which make up a portion of NSSF’s 13,000 members, along with organizations that run hunter education classes and target shooting competitions.

Research shows that more than 100 million Americans enjoy owning rifles, shotguns and handguns for target shooting, hunting, collecting and personal and home protection. When these firearms are not being used by an authorized person, they must be safely and securely stored. It is gun owners’ most important responsibility to make sure their firearms are not casually accessible to unauthorized persons.

We’re pleased to say that significant progress has been made in reducing fatal firearms accidents, which are now less than 1 percent of all fatal accidents annually, according to National Safety Council statistics. Our Project ChildSafe has helped by providing over 37 million free firearm safety kits that include a gun lock and safety education brochure to communities in every state through partnerships with more than 15,000 law enforcement departments.

With nearly two-thirds of all firearms fatalities being suicides, however, it’s important that NSSF, its member companies and gun owners do their part to help #StopSuicide as well.

AFSP works diligently on many fronts to reduce suicide and has established a bold goal with its Project 2025, aiming to reduce the annual U.S. suicide rate 20 percent by the year 2025. NSSF fully supports this effort, and we want to help AFSP clear this high bar by reaching gun owners and their families with information on warning signs, prevention resources and secure firearms storage options.

To AFSP’s credit, it has chosen to focus on education and saving lives, completely setting aside the contentious politics surrounding the subject of firearms. That approach has made it possible for NSSF to enter into this promising partnership and has led to an open exchange of ideas as we work together on developing a comprehensive national education program.

The benefits to our two organizations are many. NSSF gains from AFSP’s extensive knowledge on suicide prevention and mental health. AFSP benefits from NSSF’s knowledge of secure firearms storage options, our understanding of firearms owners and that gun owners consider us a trusted provider of information.

With help from our new colleagues at AFSP, we continue to learn that mental health conditions are treatable, that suicide is preventable, that Talk Saves Lives and that ours is a message of caring and hope. We will help pass on this important information to the firearms community, which is motivated to do more in this area. No one wants to see firearms abused.

Our partnership’s first big step will be the launch of AFSP’s pilot project with its community-based chapters in four states this fall working with firearms retailers and shooting ranges to provide education to gun owners on suicide prevention and firearms. And early next year we expect to have an AFSP representative address firearms retailers and the outdoor media at our annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show.

Our partnership holds tremendous potential to help save lives.  As you can see, AFSP and NSSF are working together for a common cause.

Learn more about our partnership with NSSF by clicking here.

Learn more about the Pilot Programs by clicking here.