PCS Blog

This blog is a place to share ideas and learn about the latest Project ChildSafe events, activities, tools and materials you can use with your communities. We would love to hear from you, so email us at PCSStaff@nssf.org with your photos, stories, ideas and questions.

PROJECT CHILDSAFE PARTNER PROFILE: JACK LOGAN


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.

PROJECT CHILDSAFE PARTNER PROFILE: SHERIFF MARK WASYLYSHYN

NSSF-PCS-Profiles-Wasylyshyn-Social_v1_IGName: Mark Wasylyshyn, Sheriff

Department: Wood County Ohio Sheriff’s Office

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

Project ChildSafe is very present in Wood County. We do our best to make firearms safety a key topic of conversation at our office and in the community. A few of the ways we engage with residents include:

Offering gun locks and materials to citizens when they apply for their concealed carry license.
Distributing locks and information to people at our county-wide employee picnic.
Sharing information and safety kits with attendees at our county fair.
Giving these items to graduates of our Citizen’s Police Academy for additional visibility.
Finally, making gun locks and safety materials available to citizens upon request throughout the year.
Citizens can also take advantage of additional resources from Project ChildSafe through its online Resource Library. In addition to resources for law enforcement agencies, we also promote materials available for parents (such as a video guiding parents on how to have a conversation about firearms safety with their children) and educators (such as lesson plans featuring McGruff the Crime Dog on how to talk to students about the importance of gun safety).

Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?

Project ChildSafe supplies us with the free gun locks, which saves our office from taking away valuable dollars from other pressing needs within the Sheriff’s Office. Project ChildSafe’s generosity allows us to give these locks away at no cost to gun owners within our community.

I recently learned that Project ChildSafe marked its 20th anniversary in 2019, having distributed more than 38 million free gun locks nationwide. We are thankful to partner with them and to be a part of a program that promotes the importance of firearms safety and safe storage in our community. I feel the impact that firearms safety education has on our community and know it is helped made possible through programs like Project ChildSafe.

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

No one can measure the impact or number of lives saved from having a gun lock. Our goal is to help keep our community safe, and having a gun lock is one simple step firearms owners can take to help ensure the safety of their loved ones.

We understand that many individuals have tight budgets in our community and may not want to pay for gun locks or other safe storage devices. Project ChildSafe takes away excuses for not using gun locks and provides the materials and resources to practice responsible firearms ownership and safe storage.

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

Having people contact their friends and families about the importance of safety is priceless. The Sheriff’s Office is always putting out safety information to the public, but it is much more powerful when it comes directly from friends and family. Please share our messages, including those from Project ChildSafe, on social media to help spread the word about safety in our community. You can follow the Wood County Sheriff’s Office on Twitter, and Project ChildSafe on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

PROJECT CHILDSAFE PARTNER PROFILE: DEPUTY CHIEF STEVEN G. XIARHOS

NSSF-PCS-Profiles-Xiarhos-Social_v1_IGName: Deputy Chief Steven G. Xiarhos

Department: The Yarmouth Police Department

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

The Yarmouth Police Department has Project ChildSafe gun locks available 24/7 to members of our community at Police Headquarters.

In addition, we have Project ChildSafe gun locks available at all of our Community Policing Events including Firearm and Ammunition occasions. These events are designed to help citizens safely manage their firearms and ammunition, along with properly and legally turning in items that are no longer wanted.

Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?

The Yarmouth Police Department strongly believes in firearms safety education and prevention. The Commonwealth of Massachusetts has a variety of firearms safety laws which include the safe handling, securing and storage of firearms. Partnering with Project ChildSafe has allowed us to help keep our citizens and our children safer.

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

Our mission is to transform Yarmouth into one of the safest communities in our region. The availability of free gun locks and safety materials is an important aspect of our strategic plan and objective as we move to 2020 and beyond.

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

Becoming fully educated and trained in how to properly use and safely secure firearms is critical. Modeling proper, safe behavior at all times sends a powerful message throughout our great community, Commonwealth and Country. In addition, Project ChildSafe has many great safety resources available through its website. Some of these resources include an infographic with different safe storage options, a firearms safety in vehicles brochure and the Project ChildSafe Child’s Pledge.

WOMEN’S OUTDOOR NEWS CONTRIBUTORS SHARE THEIR TOP HUNTING SAFETY TIPS

womens outdoor news

Hunting season is here, and Project ChildSafe wants to remind all hunters, new and experienced, to practice firearms safety with the annual Hunt S.A.F.E. campaign. The Hunt S.A.F.E. campaign acknowledges the rich tradition of hunting and underscores the importance of safe firearms handling and storage.

For many, hunting season comes with a heightened awareness of firearms safety. This year Project ChildSafe is proud to partner with Women’s Outdoor News to share their top safety tips for the season.

These tips, along with Project ChildSafe’s hunting resources, demonstrate proper hunting safety habits that can help prevent an accident that might result in serious injury or, at minimum, will almost certainly ruin your hunt.

We are excited to collaborate with women who are working hard to advocate for firearms safety and responsible firearms ownership across the nation.

Here are the top hunting safety tips from the hunting women of Women’s Outdoor News:

    • “Ask yourself important questions related to your hunt. Is my firearm compliant with the state’s wildlife agency’s rules for hunting this species? Is it working properly and sighted or patterned appropriately? Do I have the proper ammo and am I educated about what that ammo does at certain distances?” – Barbara Baird
    • “Regardless of what type of hunting you are doing, you should always know the condition of the firearm you are using. This includes knowing if it has a safety and ensuring it is engaged, especially if you are walking.” – Michelle Cerino
    • “Be sure to dress properly for the hunt. If you’ll be walking a lot, be sure your boots fit correctly and are made for the terrain. This helps prevent tripping when holding a firearm. It also gets really cold this time of year, so wearing warm enough clothes to safely handle your firearm is important.” – Ali Juten
    • “Don’t load the gun until you are ready to use it. Climbing into a tree stand can be hazardous on its own but adding a loaded firearm to the mix makes it even more dangerous. Accidents happen but can be easily be avoided if you practice proper safety procedures.” – Hollis Lumpkin
    • “Preparation makes you more confident in the field. Spend time shooting from different positions so that when the times comes, you can adapt and make the shot knowing you are ready and sure of yourself.” – Ashlee Lundvall
    • “Remember to wear eye protection!” – Lynne Green
    • “When hunting, carry a knife and two packs of matches. Also, as always, treat your gun like it is loaded even when you know it is not.” – Karen Butler

What are your top hunting safety tips? Join the conversation on Twitter and tag us @ProjChildSafe.

Project ChildSafe wants to promote S.A.F.E. hunting and remind outdoorsmen and women to Store your firearms responsibly when not in use; Always practice firearms safety; Focus on your responsibilities as a firearms owner; and Education is key to preventing accidents. For more tips to ensure a safe hunt, check out Project ChildSafe’s hunting checklist and toolkit and take our Hunt S.A.F.E. quiz!Hunting season is here, and Project ChildSafe wants to remind all hunters, new and experienced, to practice firearms safety with the annual Hunt S.A.F.E. campaign. The Hunt S.A.F.E. campaign acknowledges the rich tradition of hunting and underscores the importance of safe firearms handling and storage.

PROJECT CHILDSAFE COMMUNITY PARTNERS DRIVE PROGRAM’S SUCCESS

Project ChildSafe partners foster a culture of firearms safety that helps prevent firearms accidents, theft and misuse. Over the last few years, we have seen our partners around the country take even more steps to advocate for safe firearms storage. Our partners include local organizations representing conservation groups, mental health and suicide prevention advocates, veterans, faith groups, firearms retailers and ranges, hunting and shooting groups and law enforcement, among others.

“We’ve given out thousands of Project ChildSafe gun locks to people who want and need them. I do believe we’ve also increased awareness on this issue.” – Matthew D. Weintraub, Bucks County District Attorney

Project ChildSafe’s efforts focus on providing free firearm safety kits that include a gun lock and safety brochure, as well as spreading free firearms safety resources through coordinated distribution events, media events and a growing list of organizational supporters. Program partners take these efforts and amplify them further within their respective communities through various local events, as well as spreading firearms safety messages and awareness both in person and on social media.

“We would not be able to provide free gun locks to our residents without our partnership with Project ChildSafe, and we have seen firsthand the impact it has on our residents. 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.” – Mentor-on-the-Lake Police Chief John Gielink

Over the last two decades, Project ChildSafe has distributed more than 38 million firearm safety kits throughout 55 U.S. states and territories. Project ChildSafe has also created infographics, blog posts, flyers and other supporting materials to help community partners spread safety messages to their neighbors, friends and families. The distribution of these resources has been made possible through partnerships with 15,000 law enforcement agencies and more than 9,000 supporting organizations. Project ChildSafe is thankful for all the partners that have helped make a difference in communities nationwide.

“Partnering with Project ChildSafe has given us the opportunity to provide a free method of education and options for securing firearms for our university community. We have received continuous positive feedback from this initiative.” – Officer Jeff Butterworth, Sam Houston State University Police Department

Following a grant provided by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance in 2015, Project ChildSafe and the National Shooting Sports Foundation launched the Project ChildSafe Communities program to engage select communities – Oklahoma City, Memphis and Cleveland – to promote responsible firearms ownership and securely storing firearms when not in use. More than 50 partners in these three communities alone help spread the message of safe and responsible firearms ownership. Project ChildSafe Communities is a community-driven program, and the involvement of local organizations is critical to the program’s success.

“By making safety kits and educational resources available, we will help promote responsible gun ownership to members of our community to have a larger impact in facilitating smart habits that will help keep guns safely stored away from children, at-risk individuals and criminals.” – Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty

Recently, Project ChildSafe released a new PSA, educational video series and Firearms Safety in Vehicles brochure to further assist gun owners and non-owners of varying backgrounds to better know and understand the importance of practicing firearms safety. Additional resources can be found here.

“Project ChildSafe gives us an ongoing opportunity to talk to the public about gun safety and to help prevent accidental deaths and injuries by reducing the number of unsecured firearms in our community.” – Clackamas County Sheriff Craig Roberts

For more information on how to get involved with Project ChildSafe, please email PCSInfo@nssf.org .

PROJECT CHILDSAFE PARTNER PROFILE: MATTHEW D. WEINTRAUB, DISTRICT ATTORNEY

MATTHEW D. WEINTRAUBName: Matthew D. Weintraub, District Attorney

Department: Bucks County District Attorney’s Office

 

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

We distribute Project ChildSafe gun locks and materials through community partnerships. We feel the need to educate gun owners and non-gun owners alike on the value of firearms safety and safe storage. In our community Benjamin Smith, a two-year-old boy who accidentally shot and killed himself with his father’s gun, inspired us to form Ben’s Campaign. This campaign helps to spread the word in the media about the importance of secure storage of firearms and to garner the support we needed to reach individuals in the community to help make a difference.

From the beginning of the campaign, we knew that it wasn’t practical for the residents of Bucks County to get gun locks solely from us. To assist us, we enlisted the help of our local police departments, the Bucks County Sheriff’s Office, Bucks County Children & Youth and our friends at the Bucks County Network of Victim Assistance (NOVA) to expand our reach countywide.

Since 2017, the partner agencies have become community pick-up locations for locks. Folks only need come in and ask. In addition, our police departments distribute locks at various events throughout the county, and the sheriff’s office offers them to anyone applying for a concealed carry permit. This strategy has been a huge success and has resulted in the distribution of countless gun locks.

NOVA, who makes sure each gun lock comes packaged with gun safety information, has estimated that we have distributed thousands of gun locks to our community through this effort. Demand for more the gun locks is so high that we can barely keep them in stock.

To help expand our reach, we’re now in the process of partnering with additional agencies, including the Bucks County Area Agency on Aging, the Lenape Valley Foundation and the Central Bucks Rescue Squad. Beginning this spring, we will provide free gun locks to households where people are suffering from dementia or who are at risk of suicide. We hope to help these households store their guns safely and avoid tragedies in their homes.

Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?

Community safety is paramount to our mission. With the heartbreaking passing of Ben Smith, we immediately recognized a safety deficiency that we needed to remedy. Project ChildSafe shares our dedication to gun safety and provided us with the free gun locks needed to realize our vision, while maximizing the benefit to our residents and taxpayers.

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

Since Ben’s Campaign began in 2017, Bucks County has not had a single accidental child death involving a firearm. There is no question that with thousands of Project ChildSafe’s free gun locks in our community, our children are now safer. Our hope is that with increased and ongoing education and awareness, we can help ensure no child has unauthorized access to firearms.

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

We all have a duty to protect our children. Start by keeping your own weapons locked and unloaded when not in use. Once your guns are safely stored, help spread the message and let others know where they can get free gun locks, too. Project ChildSafe also has a variety of helpful safety resources and educational materials including the Project ChildSafe child’s pledge, ten tips for firearms safety in your home and a video on how to talk to kids about firearms safety.

PCS PARTNER PROFILE: OFFICER JEFF BUTTERWORTH

OFFICER JEFF BUTTERWORTHName: Officer Jeff Butterworth

Department: Sam Houston State University Police Department (Huntsville, TX)

 

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

We pass out the gun locks and safety information at various community safety events our department and university host, such as our annual Fall Festival. The university president has directly requested that we distribute the Project ChildSafe locks and information. We also advertise the availability of these materials at our orientations – in the event a student, staff or faculty member wishes to retrieve them from our office. We have received continuous positive feedback from this initiative.

Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?

With the recent implementation of the Texas “Campus Carry” law, we wanted to provide our students with a safe way to store their firearms in their residence halls. Partnering with Project ChildSafe has given us the opportunity to provide a free method of education and options for securing firearms for our university community. When we provide this information, we are having a conversation with our community about gun safety, and further building a positive relationship.

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

Recent changes in Texas laws have increased the areas where firearms are allowed, including on university campuses, so with Project ChildSafe’s assistance, we have remained proactive within our community in addressing safety. The members of our community have developed a greater trust with our department because we have shown them we care about the importance of gun safety on campus.

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

Developing a dialogue about gun safety with members of the community will help get the message out. We have to have the difficult conversations with our youth and young adults to enhance their knowledge and awareness of the issues. Social media is a great tool to help get this message across, but it is the personal connection that will ultimately prove to be more successful. As law enforcement, we have to take the initiative to become proactive within our communities. We need to create a positive environment by using communications and connections, which will in turn builds trust with the department and its officers.

PROJECT CHILDSAFE’S COMMUNITY-WIDE INITIATIVES RAISE AWARENESS ON FIREARMS SAFETY AND SAFE STORAGE

Over the last two years, Project ChildSafe has distributed approximately 40,000 free gun locks in Memphis, Cleveland and Oklahoma City through local outreach, events and assistance from supporters. The program has also established 54 community partnerships with local law enforcement agencies and organizations, equipping them with the necessary tools and resources to help spread the message of safe and responsible firearms storage.

Project ChildSafe’s efforts is a result of the two-year, $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice Bureau of Justice Assistance (DOJ-BJA) to launch community-wide firearms safety initiatives in pilot communities. Together with the BJA, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), Project ChildSafe Communities and local partners have raised firearms safety awareness through distribution of educational materials, partner outreach, public service announcements and city-wide gun lock giveaways. The initiative has helped to educate gun owners and the public on the importance of firearms safety and safe storage in order to help prevent firearms accidents, thefts and misuse.

“These communities have seen directly how firearms accidents and misuse affect families, and how accidents could have been prevented,” said NSSF CEO Steve Sanetti. “Over the last two years, we’ve been able to deepen partnerships in these communities to help create a culture of firearms safety. We’ve accomplished a lot through the initiative, and we will continue to support our communities with a program they can model.”

These partners, ranging from local government officials and police departments to local chapters of organizations such as the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, have been vital Project ChildSafe’s efforts in these communities. Supporters such as Miles Hall with Hall N Hall Consulting, a firearms safety advocate in Oklahoma City, have helped underscore the importance of secure firearms storage. Hall and his wife, Jayne, actively distribute firearms safety locks and recruit local supporters in the area, playing a key role in engaging local retailers and schools in distributing firearms safety materials in the community.

“Working with Project ChildSafe to promote firearms safety and safe storage is truly a collaborative effort, and I’m seeing the impact the program is making on my community,” said Hall. “If we continue to work together with programs like Project ChildSafe, we can do even more to help prevent firearms tragedies.”

Support from committed local partners has made it possible to provide thousands of locks and safety materials across the regions:

  • · With the help of local organizations, Project ChildSafe launched a year-long, community-led effort in Cleveland in May 2018 to provide thousands of free gun locks throughout the region. To date, Project ChildSafe has distributed more than12,000 gun locksand established16 new partners, including Mt. Sinai Baptist Church, Delta Waterfowl, 4-H Shooting Sports and Metro Health Police Department, among others.
  • · Community efforts in Memphis have been successful, with more than 17,000 gun locks distributed in the region and 15 new partnerships made with local organizations, including the Office of Mayor Jim Strickland, the National African American Gun Owners Association, University of Memphis and Range USA, among others.
  • · Project ChildSafe has distributed more than 10,000 gun locks in Oklahoma City and engaged 23 local partners with the program, including the Oklahoma City Gun Club, the Oklahoma City Police Department and the Oklahoma Army National Guard, among others.

Nationally, Project ChildSafe, which was established in 1999 as a firearms safety education program of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry, has established partnerships with more than 15,000 local law enforcement agencies in communities across the country and engaged more than 8,500 organizational supporters. The program has helped educate firearms owners on the importance of gun safety in communities across all 50 states and five U.S. territories, and distributed more than 38 million free firearms safety kits.

The 2017 U.S. Government Accountability Office report concluded that free locking devices positively influenced public behavior to store firearms more safely. Through Project ChildSafe, communities are able to keep secure firearms storage top of mind year-round.

However, we need your help to continue promoting genuine firearms safety. That’s why Project ChildSafe is committed to empowering local leaders to make firearms safety a priority by enabling them to tailor elements of the program to address specific, local needs. Gun owners can also practice firearms safety by obtaining a free firearm safety kit – including a gun lock – at local law enforcement agencies across the country. Additionally, a variety of educational resources are available and free online.

For more information on Project ChildSafe and how to get involved, visit projectchildsafe.org.

PCS PARTNER PROFILE: SHERIFF CRAIG ROBERTS

SHERIFF CRAIG ROBERTSName: Sheriff Craig Roberts

Department: Clackamas County Sheriff’s Office (Clackamas, OR)

 

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

The gun locks are distributed in two ways –

1) Gun locks and safety materials are offered to gun owners who attend community events, including the Clackamas County Fair, safety and wellness events and other community events, fairs and festivals throughout the county.

2) Community members who use our Public Safety Training Center (PSTC) firearms range are provided free gun locks upon request. Interested residents can learn more about the PSTC at PublicSafetyTrainingCenter.com.

 

Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?

Our county is a large mix of urban, rural and forest land with over 400,000 residents; more than half own guns for personal safety, for hunting and for sport. Project ChildSafe gives us an ongoing opportunity to talk to the public about gun safety, and help prevent accidental deaths and injuries by reducing the number of unsecured firearms in our community.

 

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

While we can’t measure the precise impact, we do believe we’re seeing an increase in public awareness that gun locks are a necessary component of responsible gun ownership. Folks are generally very open to receiving the safety materials and gun locks.

 

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

Many of our residents are involved in coalitions for youth safety and suicide prevention. Gun locks can easily become an integral piece of their messaging — and thanks in part to Project ChildSafe, we’re here to help. Our office can be a tremendous resource for residents who want to take an active role in building safer communities.

FIVE FIREARMS SAFETY TIPS TO PRACTICE THIS HOLIDAY SEASON

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The holidays are here, and family and friends across the country will soon gather in celebration of the season. December comes with an added focus on safety, as children spend more time at home and families prepare to host guests or visit loved ones. Fire prevention and travel safety are usually top-of-mind during this time of year, but it’s equally important to practice firearms safety.

“As more children are home over the holidays, there’s a greater chance they may encounter or handle a gun without supervision, posing a risk of accidental harm to themselves or others,” said National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) CEO Steve Sanetti. “The holidays are an important time to emphasize responsible firearms storage, and Project ChildSafe has a wealth of educational materials available to help gun owners and their families practice firearms safety during the holiday season.”

This year, consider adding a new tradition to your safety checklist with a review of firearms safety practices:

    1. Store firearms unloaded when not in use and secure from unauthorized access in the home or while traveling. Thoroughly double check firearms to confirm they are unloaded. Gun locking devices, when used in conjunction with secure storage systems such as lock boxes and gun safes can provide a double measure of safety and security. Click here to find out where you can pick up a free Project ChildSafe Safety Kit, which includes a cable-style gun lock and safety instructions. You can also check out Project ChildSafe’s gun storage options to find one that is best suited to your lifestyle.
    2. Store firearms and ammunition separately and out of sight. Separate storage provides another level of security against accidents, and it’s well known that a visible firearm is often a temptation, for children or for thieves. If you are hosting for the holidays, review the ten tips for firearms safety as a refresher on safe storage fundamentals for firearms in the home.
    3. Firearms in vehicles require proper storage too. If you are traveling for the holidays, or enjoying time off for a hunting trip, your firearm may be in your vehicle. Take a look at Project ChildSafe’s brochure about firearms safety in vehicles.
    4. Talk to your kids about firearms safety. It is important that children become familiar with the rules of firearms safety and practice them whether in their homes or the homes of others. Learn from competitive shooting sports champion Julie Golob as she discusses the sometimes challenging conversation of firearms safety with children, and start by teaching them what to do if they find a gun with the help of McGruff the Crime Dog. Once your kids understand the rules of firearms safety, have them sign the pledge promising to stay safe around firearms.
    5. Test your knowledge of firearms safety. While your current storage method and safety practices may be suitable for your current lifestyle, it is important to remember that environments and situations change while hosting or visiting friends and family. Discern fact from fiction with Project ChildSafe’s Myth Busters Quiz.

Visit projectchildsafe.org to learn more. For additional firearms safety resources, click here.