Rich Knight has dedicated much of his time and effort to educating the Carson City, Nev., area on firearms safety and storage. He volunteers with the local 4-H shooting sports club and the Maison T Ortiz Youth Outdoor Skills Camp, both dedicated to teaching youth outdoor and firearms safety skills. Knight also helps with the Wild Sheep Foundation’s Youth Wildlife Conservation Experience in Reno and the Nevada Outdoor Experience, two more programs which provide outdoors experiences for youth and their families.
Project ChildSafe: Why are firearms safety and responsible storage of firearms when not in use important?
RK: Proper gun handling and storage is not what you see on TV, and it is a part of my mission to inform gun owners of the proper practices to ensure safety. Firearms storage is important to preventing firearms accidents and fatalities. It is especially important to secure your firearms if you have children or when you have visitors in your home. You must keep guns secured by using a safe, applying a cable or trigger gun lock, making sure they are unloaded and storing ammunition separately.
Project ChildSafe: Please tell us a little about the things you do to help promote firearms safety in your community.
RK: After being certified by the National 4-H Shooting Sports club, a leading shooting education and youth development program, I became an instructor for the local 4-H program. As an instructor, I teach safety as the #1 priority, with family participation in shooting and safety. Parents come to the program so the whole family knows the rules of safe handling and storage. The program is primarily focused on the safety and responsibility involved with gun handling but also promotes sportsmanship and ethical behavior in shooting sports, hunting and wildlife conservation.
My primary focus is safety. When I am teaching, my goal is for kids to understand that they need to leave firearms alone. If they see a gun at a friend’s house, leave it be and tell an adult.
Project ChildSafe: Please tell us why you support NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program.
RK: I support any firearms industry program that promotes safety and better understanding of firearms, especially Project ChildSafe. The program helps educate people about firearms safety and storage, enabling us to protect our children and communities. Firearms owners, instructors and programs like Project ChildSafe are the best resources to promote firearms safety and responsibility.