A PROGRAM OF THE NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION

Blog Archive, 2018

June 19, 2018

Name: Sheriff Carl J. Gotwald Sr.

Department: Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office, Brookville, Pennsylvania


How does your agency distribute Project ChildSafe gun locks and safety materials in your community?

The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office distributes the Project ChildSafe locks from our office to any individual in need. We also provide locks at off-site events such as The Night Out for Child Safety and the local fair. We also supply locks to our Adult and Juvenile Probation Department, as well as the Children and Youth Services.

Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?

Project ChildSafe is a program that hits close to home for me. At one particular birthday party when my grandchildren were younger, one of the children went into a bedroom and came out carrying a handgun. The door was shut but the kids were able to get in and find their parents’ weapon. If it had not been for a safety lock on the firearm, there was the possibility that someone would not be able to enjoy their next birthday. Any firearm that is not secured in a safe or safety container should have a safety lock of some kind attached.

How has access to free gun locks and safety materials impacted your community?

The Sheriff’s Office has distributed hundreds of locks over the years. I can happily say we have had no accidental shootings in Jefferson County – a statistic that we aim to keep going for many years to come. Hopefully by providing literature and locks to so many, we have averted an accidental shooting by a minor or adult.

How can residents in your community and communities across the country become more involved in spreading the message of safety?

There are many helpful courses and online resources, including Project ChildSafe, that provide information and materials on gun safety. This means that educational materials, quizzes and videos are readily available to anyone in the community. Further, the NRA has gun safety instructors who offer hands-on classes for novice or seasoned firearms owners.

Lastly, we welcome anyone in our community to contact our sheriff or police departments and ask for information on safe handling and storage of firearms.

April 27, 2018

Name: Rick Porrello, Chief of Police

Department: Lyndhurst Police Department, Lyndhurst, Ohio

How does your agency distribute Project ChildSafe gun locks and safety materials in your community?

Project ChildSafe locks are distributed directly to residents in several ways. We routinely promote their availability through our online presence, our city magazine and on our city hall marquee. They are also made available at special events – such as National Night Out and Lyndhurst Home Day. Finally, they’re also available 24/7 directly from our Emergency Communications Center.

Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?

Our mission statement memorializes our commitment to collaborate with the community. Partnering with Project ChildSafe gives us another way to work with residents to help prevent tragedies and share information about gun safety. Having the locks available, and promoting their availability, in and of itself helps to promote gun safety awareness for our residents.

How has access to free gun locks and safety materials impacted your community?

The safety kits provided by Project ChildSafe have helped us maintain an ongoing message of importance about the secure storage of firearms. Preventing access to guns by children and criminals and accidental discharge are critical goals for law enforcement, gun owners and, for that matter, all citizens.

How can residents in your community and communities across the country become more involved in spreading the message of safety?

Citizens must continue to make gun safety a priority and be part of the solution, not the problem. They should support programs such as Project ChildSafe, and can help make gun safety a priority in a variety of ways:

  • Gun owners should make secure firearm storage a topic of conversation with loved ones and friends.
  • Citizens can turn in unwanted firearms and ammunition to police.
  • Guns should be locked and stored in secure locations inaccessible to curious children or thieves.
  • Concealed carry license holders should not store guns in cars overnight.

Overall, our partnership with the Project ChildSafe program has been key to inspiring conversation and promoting better firearms safety and awareness.

March 5, 2018

Name: Chief John Gielink

Department: Mentor-on-the-Lake Police Department, Mentor-on-the-Lake, Ohio

How does your agency distribute Project ChildSafe gun locks and safety materials in your community?

We are proud to feature Project ChildSafe locks and materials in a display box, located in the lobby of city hall, which is accessible to the public 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Additionally, we hold several events throughout the year during which we engage with the public. We find that talking to families about gun safety is critical to community safety.

Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?

Unfortunately, due to funding cuts to local government, we are always looking to do more with less.  We always seek out opportunities to provide our residents with information and items to make their lives safer. We would not be able to provide free gun locks to our residents without this partnership with Project ChildSafe, and we have seen firsthand the impact it has on our residents.

How has access to free gun locks and safety materials impacted your community?

Some individuals in Mentor-on-the-Lake have at least one gun in their home. Many of those homes also have children. Some individuals can’t afford costly secure storage options to keep their weapons safe, and Project ChildSafe, in turn, provides a free solution through their locks and materials. This way, families can keep firearms safe from curious juveniles, at risk individuals and criminals, without a financial burden.

How can residents in your community and communities across the country become more involved in spreading the message of safety?

Help us raise awareness about gun safety both online and off. Children are naturally curious and smarter than some parents realize. Even storing a loaded gun on a high shelf or in a hidden drawer is an invitation to disaster. Talking to children and family members about gun safety and handling is key, and Project ChildSafe has great resources to help guide these conversations.