When an Arizona mother walked into her bedroom and saw her two-year-old playing with her husband’s gun, it was the Project ChildSafe lock she’d put on it the day before that she credited with preventing a tragedy.
As a program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation (the trade association of the firearms industry), Project ChildSafe was launched in 1999 to promote education about safe firearm handling and storage.
It has been developed to educate gun owners on what they can do to safely store their firearms when not in use, and provide them with tools to do so. So far, it has been very successful, with their efforts having saved uncounted children and gun-owning adults from life-changing events.
The cornerstone of the program is the Project ChildSafe firearm safety kit, which includes a cable-style gun lock and a brochure that discusses safe handling and storage. The instructions presented on the brochure, albeit basic, are perfect for ensuring at least an elementary level of firearm safety knowledge.
Since its launch, Project ChildSafe has distributed more than 37 million of these free safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and five U.S. territories through partnerships with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies.
Project ChildSafe is a real solution to making our communities safer. Everyone that is committed to preserving the sports of hunting and shooting can no doubt get behind it, as the fewer accidents happen, the better.
For the past several years, the number of fatal firearms accidents has been declining, even while firearm sales have been increasing.
Today, these accidents make up only 0.5% of all accidental fatalities. That’s a trend that’s going in the right direction — and not because of new laws or regulations that do nothing to further public safety – but instead from gun owners themselves committing to make safety and responsibility a priority.
In fact, it has been proven time and time again that a culture of gun safety is far more productive than laws forbidding the use of firearms. Although this is definitely the right way to go, there is still much to do when it comes to revealing the importance of proper safety education in the hopes that gun accidents will stop from happening.
Earlier this year, Wilderness Today joined leading conservation organizations that support Project ChildSafe in promoting firearm safety and ensuring firearm owners have the tools and information they need to store their firearms responsibly.
Proper storage is the number one way to help prevent firearm accidents, theft, and misuse, and as an organization committed to preserving the hunting heritage, Wilderness Today understands how important safety education is to that mission.
In joining with Project ChildSafe, we stand alongside other leaders in the hunting and shooting sports fields, including:
This collective outreach has reminded millions of gun owners to safely and securely store their firearms when not in use.
When it comes to our children and people in our homes, we want to prevent a loaded firearm from being found and played with, stolen, or misused.
That’s a tragedy waiting to happen, and it’s so easily prevented. That’s something all responsible gun owners know, but it continually bears repeating.
It’s only when we get complacent about firearm safety that accidents happen. As the Project ChildSafe slogan says, “Own it? Respect It. Secure It.”
Visit Project ChildSafe at www.projectchildsafe.org to access their free library of safety information, including tips for safe firearm storage at home, a hunting safety checklist, videos on how to talk to your kids about gun safety, and other resources.
And please show your support by liking Project ChildSafe on Facebook and signing the Project ChildSafe Pledge yourself. You can also find a local law enforcement partner in your area that provides free Project ChildSafe safety kits. (And if there isn’t one in your area, call your local police or sheriff’s department and urge them to sign up – it’s free.)
You can donate to the program from the website as well. Every $2 helps put a gun lock in someone’s hands. PCS is also a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit charitable organization, so all donations are tax-deductible.
You could also test your gun safety knowledge and debunk some of the most common myths by taking their Firearms Safety Quiz or tap the Gun Safety Resources link on the website to learn more about the issue.
The importance of firearm safety is something on which everyone can agree. Better education and continued voluntary action by firearm owners is a pragmatic solution we can embrace now.
The more often responsible gun owners take steps to secure their firearms when not in use, the more accidents we can help prevent, the fewer rifles and handguns will end up in the wrong hands, and hopefully the fewer such headlines will wreck our hearts:
Interested in finding out more about firearms? Check our handgun guide here!
Frequently Answered Questions
How Much Does the Firearm Safety Kit Cost?
As of the time of writing, absolutely nothing! Project ChildSafe recognizes the importance of making gun safety kits available to everyone regardless of their present circumstances, and, working together with institutions and businesses who regularly make use of firearms, have managed to make the kits available for free.
All you need to do to acquire one is to check the Project ChildSafe website in order to find the closest location where you can find a free firearm safety kit. Almost every state across the country has at least several such locations, so you have a wide range to pick from.
Is the Project ChildSafe Gun Lock Sturdy?
The gun lock is strong enough to withstand efforts made by a child or teenager to break it, although a highly determined adult with sheer force of strength and more than a bit of cunning might find a weakness or two.
The quality of the locks is solid, but they are not meant to do anything other than make it very, very hard for a child to make use of the gun they’re protecting. The gun locks go through the slides or the magwells of most firearms, so it’s highly unlikely they’re going to be ripped out.
The primary purpose of the gun locks is not necessarily to explicitly disallow anyone from using them, but to serve as a deterrent. Remember – no gun lock can do a better job than proper gun safety education!
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