A PROGRAM OF THE NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION

Blog Archive, August 2017

August 28, 2017

Nicolle Griffin is a leader and founder of the Yuma, Ariz., chapter of The Well Armed Woman (TWAW), which she started in 2013. Under her co-leadership, the Yuma chapter has become the largest chapter of TWAW in Arizona with more than 100 members. In addition to her work with TWAW, Griffin focuses her outreach and volunteer efforts toward educating women, such as military spouses, about the importance of firearms safety 

 

Project ChildSafe: Why are firearms safety and responsible storage of firearms when not in use important?

NG: As responsible gun owners, we need to keep our firearms accessible for protection while also ensuring they are safely secured, especially when children and guests are visiting our homes. We must also help ensure our firearms are not accessible to criminals and people who are not trained in safe firearm handling.

 

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us a little about the things you do to help promote firearms safety in your community.

NG: In 2013, I started The Well Armed Woman Chapter in Yuma. All three chapter co-leaders—Jan Ennenga, Joanne Schickle and myself—are NRA Certified Basic Pistol Instructors and Range Safety Officers. We offer free firearms safety training in our community with a focus on women, especially military spouses who frequently have firearms in their home. We also target local “mom’s clubs” to encourage responsible firearms safety in the home and around children. All of our courses cover the basic firearms safety rules, include proper handling and storage. To date, we have taught more than 400 members of our community.

 

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us why you support NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program.

NG: Project ChildSafe is an important program that provides educational resources for firearms owners, options for safe storage and overall important information for those who own guns. The program highlights the importance of responsible firearms ownership, including our obligation to help prevent guns from being accessible to children and other unauthorized individuals.

August 21, 2017

Mike Rainwater is a Lincoln Parish Sheriff’s Office deputy in Ruston, La., and served as the lead instructor for Louisiana’s Hunter Education Safety program for 20 years at the sheriff’s office. He has helped educate thousands of young kids for hunter education certification in Louisiana. Rainwater has also led and participated in more than 40 sportsman’s educational events over the years.  

Project ChildSafe: Why are firearms safety and responsible storage of firearms when not in use important?

MR: I vividly remember having an accidental discharge when I was young that scared me greatly. It was a tough lesson learned and taught me how important it is to be safe with firearms. When you are handling a firearm, it is of the utmost importance to understand how to use it and safely secure it when not in use. As a firearms owner, you have a responsibility to handle firearms safely. Firearms safety is essential to keeping your home, children and guests safe. As a law enforcement professional and firearms safety instructor, I have a responsibility to educate the public and that is what has driven my support of Project ChildSafe for so many years. Any accident is tragic; there are too many senseless fatalities that are related to firearms and a lack of safety measures taken. Education and safe storage of firearms is the most effective way to reduce firearms accidents.

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us a little about the things you do to help promote firearm safety in your community.

MR: I am the lead instructor for Louisiana’s Hunter Education Safety program. We try to hold 10 or more classes a year, where we teach special classes for 4-H and summer camp programs. The types of students can vary but usually the standard classes are full of younger kids. I am also involved in the Louisiana Hunting Heritage Program, a mentorship program that matches a seasoned hunter with a beginner, and focuses on safe hunting over the course of a season. The Sheriff’s Department has been extremely supportive of these efforts and allows me to sponsor these classes.

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us why you support NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program.

MR: I find Project ChildSafe to be an invaluable program because safety of firearms in the home is paramount. I believe in keeping firearms locked up when not in use and support any effort to facilitate that critical step in firearms safety. I have always been a supporter of NSSF and got involved in Project ChildSafe years ago after I started handing out gun locks to my community, mostly through the hunter education classes. 

August 14, 2017

Maj Toure founded Back Guns Matter in 2015, a program dedicated to educating urban communities about firearms responsibility through training. Black Guns Matter is currently on a 50-state tour to reach urban communities across the country and educate them about safe firearms use and safe gun storage. 

Project ChildSafe: Why are firearms safety and responsible storage of firearms when not in use important? 

MT: Firearms safety is important because you are responsible for what happens with your firearm. If you own a firearm for protection, your job is to find a balance between accessibility and safe storage of, and both are achievable. People want their firearms to be accessible should the need for them arise, but it is also our responsibility to safely secure our guns. We can find a solution for everyone, whether it’s is a biometric safe, a trigger lock or a cable-style gun lock, and we can assess the dynamics of each individual’s home and figure out the best option for him or her. We always find a good middle ground between safety and accessibility.

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us a little about the things you do to help promote firearms safety in your community.

MT: Black Guns Matter is a firearms safety and training organization. We go to urban, high-crime and high-gun control areas to inform that demographic about firearms safety. We promote safety by hosting firearms safety events across the country. They are free and open to all who want to learn.

Putting people on the path to responsible gun ownership is the forefront of our work at Black Guns Matter. Our job is to inform our demographic, put them on a reputable path and watch them blossom. The feedback we are getting is amazing, and most people are positive about our message. It is hard to disagree with education, training and safety.

 

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us why you support NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program.

MT: We support the program because negligence of firearms safety affects children and families entirely too much. The lack of training, ignorance and carelessness are all preventable, and NSSF is doing tremendous work to make that point to a wide audience.

Black Guns Matter engages millions of Americans that have been left out of the responsible firearms ownership conversation. Just last week, we incorporated the NSSF Project ChildSafe program and the cable-style gun locks into our class and passed them out to everyone who attended. We walked them through the process of how they can use that lock and emphasized that the responsibility to keep that firearm secured and stored is up to them. There are many young people in our classes, and these people were not raised in the shooting sports. But through our program, they are on the path at a young age to start at a place of safety. The education and training can appeal to the minds and the hearts of this demographic, and allows for safe and responsible firearms ownership. 

August 6, 2017

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.

August 6, 2017

Bukhari Abdel-Alim is a founder of the non-profit TAASAR Group as well as the Blue Eagles Shotgun Team, a youth trapshooting team program. He organizes gun safety and awareness seminars for youth and parents in and around Richmond, Va., to educate his community about the importance of gun safety awareness at the range and at home. As a father of two, Abdel-Alim takes educating youth about gun safety personally and has shown a continued commitment toward making his community an environment that respects and safely stores firearms.

 

Project ChildSafe: Why are firearms safety and responsible storage of firearms when not in use important?

 

BA: Like a motor vehicle, firearms have varied purposes or intended uses. Firearms could be used for sport, leisure, to put food on the table, a tool in your line of work or even a special piece of a collection. Also, a firearm should be used only by someone legally authorized to use that firearm. We wouldn't give car keys to a 12 year old and say “Have at it!” Firearms safety means personal, family and community safety. By understanding and implementing firearms safety every time a firearm is present, we are ensuring that the people we love and care about are not put in harm’s way through actions that are unsafe and avoidable.

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us a little about the things you do to help promote firearms safety in your community.

 

BA: For the last four years, I have coached the Blue Eagles Shotgun Team based in Richmond. The team was initially formed to teach youth ages 12-17 proper firearms safety, with a mix of classroom learning and hands-on shooting experience in a safe environment. These efforts have helped children learn critical proper and safe firearm handling skills. This has also opened the door to educating parents on firearms safety and safe storage practices, if they already own or are considering purchasing a firearm.

 

This year, I have also started offering free-to-the-public "Firearm Safety, Awareness and Negligence Prevention" seminars conducted in the Richmond and Henrico County Libraries. This format is focused on reaching the local community and having these discussions to further educate people so they can encourage and increase safe firearm practices. Forums of this type do not always reach urban and suburban areas, and I hope to continue educating people with the right information that makes a difference.

 

Project ChildSafe: Please tell us why you support NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program.

 

BA: NSSF has always been a valuable resource of firearms safety information. With Project ChildSafe, I feel an even larger spotlight is shone on firearms safety and responsible storage. People like myself are always looking for a better way to share information with our audience, and Project ChildSafe delivers that on many levels. Being able to download data and materials, share videos and connect with others that support Project ChildSafe makes it easier for people all over the country to spread the message of firearms safety. Another great aspect of the program is that it makes free gun locks available, through law enforcement, to gun owners, helping them more easily practice firearms safety at home.