The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) announced today that more than 500 retailers, sporting clubs and conservation organizations have signed on to support its Project ChildSafe program and promote the message of “Own It? Respect It. Secure It.” to help prevent firearm accidents.
“Reaching 500 supporter organizations for Project ChildSafe speaks to how the shooting sports community understands the importance of safe firearm storage,” said Steve Sanetti, NSSF president and CEO. “This broad spectrum of support amplifies our industry’s safety message and lets people know there are resources available to help firearm owners take action – right now – to help prevent firearm accidents.”
The program began recruiting supporter organizations last summer to expand the reach of its safety message nationwide. The Wild Sheep Foundation, a national organization dedicated to enhancing wild sheep populations, promoting professional wildlife management and providing public education on hunting’s role in conservation, became the program’s 500th supporter this week. It joined a host of local and national organizations including USA Shooting, the Mule Deer Foundation, Law Enforcement United, National Association of Sporting Good Wholesalers, US First Responders and USA YESS, among others.
“As an organization dedicated to ethical hunting and safe shooting, we believe any discussion on the importance of gun safety and responsibility must include storing guns responsibly when they are not in use,” said Ryan Brock, Ph.D. and youth education coordinator for the Wild Sheep Foundation. “Project ChildSafe is the nation’s leading program in getting that message out, and providing the means firearm owners can use to help prevent accidents. We’re glad to be partnering with them.”
Together, Project ChildSafe and its supporting organizations are reaching out to the firearm-owning community to stress the importance of proper and responsible firearm storage. Central to that program are the Project ChildSafe Firearm Safety Kits, which include a free cable-style gun lock. NSSF, which launched Project ChildSafe in 1999, provides the safety kits and locks to more than 15,000 law enforcement partner agencies across the country at no charge.
Thanks in part to the work of Project ChildSafe supporters to promote the “Own It? Respect it. Secure It.” message on their websites, advertising, storefronts and in social media, demand for the safety kits has surged. More than 53,000 safety kits have been shipped to local law enforcement agencies in 47 states nationwide since January, adding to the more than 36 million safety kits donated throughout the U.S. and in five territories since Project ChildSafe began.
“We’ve partnered with Project ChildSafe and NSSF to distribute locks and educational materials at several events in the past year. At each event, the response from the community has been tremendous, demonstrating that Project ChildSafe is the right approach to firearm safety,” said Joe Huggins, Hunter Education Coordinator with the Arkansas Game and Fish Commission. “Reaching this milestone shows that the vast majority of gun owners are committed to being safe and responsible. We look forward to continuing our work with Project ChildSafe to provide resources and tools to help them do that.”
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 10,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, log on to www.nssf.org.
About Project ChildSafe
NSSF launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (prior to 2003 the program was called Project HomeSafe) as a nationwide initiative to promote firearms responsibility and provide safety education to all gun owners. While children are a focus, Project ChildSafe is intended to help young people and adults practice greater firearm safety in the home. The program was originally supported by federal grants provided by the U.S. Department of Justice. Since 2008, when this funding was cut, the firearms manufacturing industry has solely funded the Project ChildSafe program through the members of NSSF.