Name: Jack Logan
Organization: Founder of Put Down the Guns Now Young People
Why does your organization partner with Project ChildSafe?
Put Down the Guns Now Young People was formed in 2010 with a strong community commitment to firearm safety following a series of local firearm accidents. Prior to the accidents, I had never heard of a gun lock. However, the increased number of accidents across South Carolina sparked my passion to help spread firearm safety messages, resources and educational materials throughout my community in any way that I could.
Initially, we reached out to law enforcement agencies for locks. Through our local community outreach and efforts, we learned that many community members were unaware that locks were available for free through their local law enforcement agencies. Our organization was able to distribute the free gun locks and educational resources in the community in ways law enforcement agency partners couldn’t.
After some time, I reached out to Project ChildSafe directly to distribute firearm safety kits. After working together for about ten years, our group has distributed over 10,000 Project ChildSafe gun locks in South Carolina.
How does your organization distribute Project ChildSafe gun locks and safety materials in your community?
Put Down the Guns Now Young People distributes gun locks and firearm safety materials in a few ways:
- Hosting Gun Safety Events: We look for different ways to teach both children and parents about the importance of firearm safety. This includes hosting demonstrations with community members and giving away gun locks at church events. We have had great success generating media coverage of these events, further expanding the program’s reach.
- Distributing Locks: We frequently go door to door in communities, distributing gun locks and talking to parents and kids about how to use the locks. When we go out into the community, we teach people the importance of always practicing basic firearm safety. We remind parents that if they carry or have a firearm in the home, they need to keep it locked up when not in use. We also remind parents that even if their kids are only playing with toy guns, they should treat them as real guns and not point the guns at people.
Over the past ten years, since we started working with Project ChildSafe, we’ve found that firearm safety is an issue that reaches everyone – regardless of background, societal status or ethnicity. It’s such an important topic that everyone needs to be aware of and informed about. That’s a huge factor behind why we are involved in so many different outreach events – we will drive far and wide to any group or community that is interested in receiving information about safe firearm storage and ownership.
How has access to free gun locks and safety materials impacted your community?
Since we started Put Down the Guns Now Young People, we’ve distributed thousands of gun locks and educational materials in South Carolina and other communities across the country. We believe educating people about the importance of firearms safety and providing gun locks has helped to reduce the number of accidents in our communities.
Project ChildSafe’s wide range of resources (including resources for hunters, law enforcement agencies, parents and educators) have had a positive impact within my community. We have been able to share these resources with many different groups with differing needs, increasing the total number of people we have been able to reach and educate.
How can residents in your community and communities across the country become more involved in spreading the message of safety?
We encourage law enforcement agencies to use and share Project ChildSafe’s educational resources with their communities. It’s so important that parents understand the vital importance of firearm safety. Every parent that we educate about firearm safety, creates an opportunity for them to talk to and educate another parent.
If someone reading this wanted to start a similar gun safety effort in their community, what advice would you give them?
I would recommend they initially start with teaching children the importance of not touching a gun when adults are not around. If they want to take up target shooting or hunting, they must be taught how to properly and safely handle a gun under adult supervision. From there, it’s important to consider the role of organizations such as Project ChildSafe, which can offer gun locks and educational materials – all key items for anyone who is promoting gun safety in their community.