During the month of June, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the firearms trade association, is urging gun owners across the nation to make firearm safety and storage a priority through its annual S.A.F.E. Summer initiative, an acronym that stands for: Store your firearms responsibly when not in use; Always practice firearms safety; Focus on your responsibilities as a firearms owner; Education is key to preventing accidents.
Project Childsafe is the largest, most comprehensive firearm safety education program in the U.S. and was developed to promote gun safety by providing gun owners with free Safety Kits, which include a cable-style lock and safety instructions. Since 1999, more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies have partnered with the program to distribute more than 37 million firearm safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and five U.S. territories
“Summer is an important time for firearms owners to make sure they’re properly securing their firearms, both in the home and in their vehicles, as children may be spending more time unattended in these locations,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “NSSF and Project ChildSafe encourage firearms owners and non-owners alike to talk with their families about firearms safety to help prevent firearms accidents, thefts and misuse.”
In addition to providing Safety Kits, the NSSF has a S.A.F.E. quiz so parents know if they're up-to-date on the latest firearms safety tips. There are also a couple of useful videos that have been released, like how to talk to your children about gun safety:
NSSF also partnered with the National Crime Prevention Council (NCPC) to develop a video teaching kids what to do if a friend comes to school with a gun, featuring McGruff the Crime Dog:
The NSSF has also provided a "ten tips for firearm safety in your home" spreadsheet that reminds gun owners:
• Always keep the firearm’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction. A “safe direction” means that the gun is pointed so that even if an accidental discharge occurred, it would not result in injury.
• Always keep your finger off the trigger until you actually intend to shoot. When handling a gun, rest your finger outside the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Don’t touch the trigger until you are actually ready to fire.
• Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use. Whenever you pick up a gun, such as when removing it from or returning it to storage, remember to point it in a safe direction and make sure it is unloaded.
• Be sure you know how your firearm operates: read the manual on your firearm, know how to safely open and close the action of the firearm and know how to safely remove any ammunition from the firearm and its magazine.
• Store your firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case when not in use, ensuring they are in a location inaccessible by children and cannot be handled by anyone without your permission.
• Store your ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms.
• Use a gun locking device that renders the firearm inoperable when not in use. A gun lock should be used as an additional safety precaution and not as a substitute for secure storage.
• Make sure young people in your home are aware of and understand the safety guidelines concerning firearms. Have them sign the Project ChildSafe Pledge for young people—a reminder that if they find an unattended firearm in their home or a neighbor’s to not touch it, and tell an adult.
• Always unload, clean and place your firearms in their secure storage location immediately after returning from a hunting trip or a day at the range.
• Educate everyone in your family about firearms safety. Visit the Project ChildSafe website for safety information and to find out where to get a free firearm safety kit in your area.
To obtain a free Safety Kit, click here to look up the participating police department closest to you.
Law enforcement agencies that would like to participate in the program should submit an application to receive Safety Kits from the NSSF.
How The Industry Is Helping
In addition to Project ChildSafe, here's how the firearms industry is making a difference:
• Gun manufacturers have provided 70 million free gun locks with newly purchased firearms since 1998. The estimated value sits at roughly $140 million.
• In addition to the free gun locks manufacturers provide with newly purchased guns, the NSSF has provided 37 million Safety Kits through Project ChildSafe over the last 15 years. The estimated value sits at roughly $74 million.
• More than 1,500 companies and organizations as well as over 3,800 retail stores, conservation groups, hunting clubs and safety instructors promote the mission of Project ChildSafe.
• The National Rifle Association developed the National School Shield program which provides schools with a security assessment training program that identify potential threats, emergency response protocols and discuss advantages of security personnel and school resource officers.
Overcoming The Media Bias
Ever since the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida took place back in February, the gun industry has faced extreme scrutiny and backlash. The general public fails to some of the great things the industry is doing because the mainstream media refuses to report about safety initiatives, like Project ChildSafe.
If the mainstream media actually reported on initiatives, like Project ChildSafe, they would be forced to admit that the firearms industry has taken steps to reduce shootings for decades. The media would be forced to admit that the gun industry does care about children and the safety of all Americans. And guess what? Those facts goes against the entire narrative the media is trying to push — that guns are bad and the firearms industry only cares about making money.