2019 marks the 20th year for NSSF's initiative Project Childsafe, a program designed to help prevent firearms accidents, theft, and misuse. While we may all disagree from time to time about the best methods to do certain things within our industry, hopefully we all agree on one thing: We don't want our guns to fall into the wrong hands, whether those hands belong to little kids or criminals.
Beginning in 1999 and partnering with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies and almost 9,000 gun ranges and retailers, Project Childsafe has handed out more than 38 million free safety kits. These firearms safety kits include a gun lock and brochure teaching gun owners how to safely store their firearms when not in use, thus keeping them out of a child's hands.
Steve Sanetti, NSSF’s CEO said this in the press release:
Nearly 9,000 retailers, gun ranges, makers of accessories and conservation groups, along with many of the nation’s largest firearms manufacturers, have joined us in spreading the message of ‘Own It? Respect It. Secure It,’ and encouraging gun owners to store their firearms responsibly when not in use. With new companies in our industry adding their support for Project ChildSafe, I know we can continue to reduce firearms accidents, thefts and misuse, including suicide.
In those 20 years there has been a noticeable downward trend in the number of fatal firearms accidents in all age groups. They are at historic lows according to the National Safety Council (mentioned in press release without citation given). Furthermore, the press release states that the Government Accountability Office in 2017 issued a report stating that giving gun owners these free gun locks ends up in more gun owners choosing to use them and store their guns more securely.
Sanetti's closing quote was this, which I agree with wholeheartedly:
The firearms industry is committed to the safe, legal and responsible use of firearms, and, as an industry, we are the leading voice in the national conversation to promote responsible actions among legal gun owners, to help prevent accidents and to help keep guns out of the wrong hands. Because all those actions are real solutions that make homes, neighborhoods and communities safer.
If you want to learn more about the NSSF's Project Childsafe program, you can visit their page here. And, if you'd like to see more conversation about a similar topic, visit our page titled: Keeping A Gun On The Nightstand, written by our president Jacob Paulsen. By my last check it had over 280 comments on it, and some of them are golden.