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.
July 7, 2017

Name: Officer Sam DeFelice, Conservation Enforcement Officer

Department: Connecticut State Environmental Conservation (ENCON) Police

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

The CT State ENCON Police distribute gun locks at community outreach events such as hunting and fishing shows.  We also use our social media platforms to discuss firearms safety topics such as proper firearms handling, firearms storage, range safety, hunting safety as well as speaking to our youth about firearms safety.

Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?

The CT State ENCON Police face unique challenges being a conservation law enforcement agency.  We do not have traditional jurisdictional boundaries like a municipal police agency so reaching out to our recreational outdoor community can be difficult.  Project ChildSafe helps us bridge that gap through public awareness and education.

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

We have been able to provide gun owners a level of safety and security whether it be in their home or in the field.  Our educational campaign via social media has been able to provide resources to parents about speaking to their children about firearms safety.

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

Regardless if you are a gun owner or not, it is critically important to speak to our youth about firearms safety.  Recently a group of kindergarten aged children were walking to school and noticed a firearm on the ground near a school entrance.  The children kept other students away from the firearm and notified school officials, who in turn notified the respective law enforcement agency.  This is a perfect example of the need to spread the word and educate our youth on firearm safety.

In addition to firearm safety, what are some of the best safety practices families can incorporate in their homes?

Always have a plan!  Make sure your family has a plan of action in the event of an emergency, and everyone in the family knows the plan.

Always wear a life jacket when heading out on the water.  Especially those who use kayaks and canoes.

If your heading out for a hike, a hunt or for a day on the water, make sure someone knows where you will be and when you will return.

April 24, 2017

Name: Sergeant Stephen Johnston (twitter: @hpdjohnston)

Department: Hiram Police Department, Hiram, Georgia

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

We distribute Project Child Safe gun locks and safety material in the lobby of the Hiram Police Department Monday through Friday 8 a.m.- 5 p.m., as well as at all of our public safety outreach events.

Why does your department partner with Project ChildSafe?

We are proud to partner with Project ChildSafe due to its long-standing commitment to making communities safer – which is one of the Hiram Police Department’s core missions. As a small agency, we have limited funds, which prevents us from providing free gun locks and safety kits to our community. However, the partnership with Project Childsafe aids us in making this crucial safety device available for any member of our community or surrounding communities.

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

It allows us to provide both the gun owners and their children with important safety information that will hopefully prevent any gun-related accidents in our community. Gun safety education is not always readily available to gun owners due to cost or lifestyle, and Project ChildSafe helps us fill this important gap in our community.

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

Early education is key. The sooner gun owners and community members can educate our youth and those new to handling firearms about safe practices, the better. We encourage our community members to follow us on social media (Facebook and Twitter) and share our safety-related content.

In addition to firearms safety, what are some of the best safety practices families can incorporate in their lifestyle?

-          Take a personal safety course

-          Always be aware of your surroundings

-          Create safety plans with your family

-          Learn CPR

-          Install lighting and cameras on the exterior of your home

-          Make sure you have a working smoke and carbon monoxide detector

-          Make sure child passengers are properly restrained by a child safety seat

March 28, 2017

The National Safety Council’s Injury Facts - 2017 Edition shows that between 2014 and 2015 accidental deaths by firearms declined by 17 percent, even as firearms sales significantly increased during that time.

In a press release, National Shooting Sports Foundation President and CEO Steve Sanetti applauded the work of responsible gun owners for securely storing their firearms when not in use.  Sanetti noted the contributions of NSSF’s Project ChildSafe’s program in helping to create a culture of firearm safety in communities throughout the country. “The many firearms safety educational programs sponsored by the firearms industry and firearms safety instructors nationwide, such as the NSSF’s Project ChildSafe, are a part of the reason for this ever-downward trend in firearms accidents,” said Sanetti.

Any community in the United States can help increase awareness of safe firearms handing and storage by becoming a partner with Project ChildSafe through its local law enforcement department. See ProjectChildSafe.org for partnering information. Learn more about NSSF’s press release by clicking here.

March 6, 2017

The announcement of NSSF’s new Project ChildSafe Communities program at the state capitol in Oklahoma City on Jan. 25 included an impressive group of supporters, including Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin who, with NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti, launched the year-long, community-led effort to help prevent firearms accidents, thefts and misuse.

Made possible by a $2.4 million grant awarded to NSSF by the U.S. Office of Justice Programs and overseen by the Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance, this new Project ChildSafe effort will provide intensive firearm safety messaging accompanied by gun lock giveaways in Oklahoma City and then expand to two other major U.S. metropolitan areas. The goal is to model a program that can be used in cities across the country to remind gun owners that securely storing firearms when not in use is the number one way to help prevent firearms accidents, thefts and misuse. In addition to this focused effort in cities, the federal grant will also allow NSSF to enhance public education efforts and distribute Project ChildSafe’s free firearm safety kits to communities in all 50 states.

Among the messages that will be stressed in Oklahoma City and elsewhere is that if you own a firearm, you should respect it and secure it when not in use. Also, the campaign includes a call to “Aim for Zero” firearm accidents.

Gov. Fallin, a longtime supporter of the Project ChildSafe program, was joined at the launch by representatives of several community stakeholder groups that will partner with NSSF to help the program’s firearm safety reminders reach gun owners. These included Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, Oklahoma City Police Chief Bill Citty, Oklahoma County Sheriff’s Office Captain Jim Anderson, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma Mark Yancey, and Scotty Dee and Major General Rita Aragon of Honoring America’s Warriors. Additional stakeholders at the event showing their support included the Oklahoma City Fire Department, the Oklahoma Department of Wildlife, the Oklahoma Veterans Council, the Oklahoma City Gun Club, Hall-N-Hall Consulting and local chapter leaders of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, National Wild Turkey Federation, Delta Waterfowl, DIVA-WOW, The Well-Armed Woman, Cabela’s and 4-H Shooting Sports.

January 13, 2017

2016 was a big year for Project ChildSafe! Thanks to the support and donations from responsible firearm ownership champions like you, we were able to create and refresh resources that promote gun safety in home and at the range.

As we move forward this year, we want you to ensure that you are aware and equipped with relevant Project ChildSafe materials. Check out our resource page and find assets that can help you learn, share and promote the need to secure firearms when not in use, all in one place.

Here are a few of our favorites:

Want to get involved with Project ChildSafe? Make a donation, sign the pledge or “like” us on Facebook!

August 29, 2016

Project ChildSafe is thrilled with the announcement of the partnership between the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. Responsible gun storage is something on which we can all agree, and by working together we can help keep our homes and communities safe. This article was originally published on afsp.org.



AFSP and NSSF: Tremendous Potential to Save Lives


By Stephen L. Sanetti, NSSF President & CEO

The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s partnership with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention represents an exciting new opportunity to help reduce the misuse of firearms in America.

As the trade association for the firearms industry, NSSF has for more than 50 years encouraged gun owners to safely handle and securely store their firearms. Through brochures such as Firearms Responsibility in the Home, videos like Firearms Safety Depends on You, infographics such as Safe Storage Options for Your Lifestyle and our Project ChildSafe and “Own It? Respect It. Secure It” initiatives, we remind people that safely storing firearms is the No. 1 way to help prevent misuse, accidents and thefts.

Suicide prevention is not an entirely new area of involvement for NSSF. In recent years, we have worked with the Veterans Administration, the State of Utah and mental health agencies to help educate gun owners and the public on how to keep firearms safely out of reach of those who may wish to do themselves harm, as well as helping to reduce firearms accidents, already at historic low levels, even further.

What is new, however, is that our partnership with AFSP will enable NSSF to play an important role in a first-of-its-kind national effort to distribute jointly developed suicide prevention educational materials to gun owners. We’ll reach the firearms community through the help of firearms retailers and shooting ranges, which make up a portion of NSSF’s 13,000 members, along with organizations that run hunter education classes and target shooting competitions.

Research shows that more than 100 million Americans enjoy owning rifles, shotguns and handguns for target shooting, hunting, collecting and personal and home protection. When these firearms are not being used by an authorized person, they must be safely and securely stored. It is gun owners’ most important responsibility to make sure their firearms are not casually accessible to unauthorized persons.

We’re pleased to say that significant progress has been made in reducing fatal firearms accidents, which are now less than 1 percent of all fatal accidents annually, according to National Safety Council statistics. Our Project ChildSafe has helped by providing over 37 million free firearm safety kits that include a gun lock and safety education brochure to communities in every state through partnerships with more than 15,000 law enforcement departments.

With nearly two-thirds of all firearms fatalities being suicides, however, it’s important that NSSF, its member companies and gun owners do their part to help #StopSuicide as well.

AFSP works diligently on many fronts to reduce suicide and has established a bold goal with its Project 2025, aiming to reduce the annual U.S. suicide rate 20 percent by the year 2025. NSSF fully supports this effort, and we want to help AFSP clear this high bar by reaching gun owners and their families with information on warning signs, prevention resources and secure firearms storage options.

To AFSP’s credit, it has chosen to focus on education and saving lives, completely setting aside the contentious politics surrounding the subject of firearms. That approach has made it possible for NSSF to enter into this promising partnership and has led to an open exchange of ideas as we work together on developing a comprehensive national education program.

The benefits to our two organizations are many. NSSF gains from AFSP’s extensive knowledge on suicide prevention and mental health. AFSP benefits from NSSF’s knowledge of secure firearms storage options, our understanding of firearms owners and that gun owners consider us a trusted provider of information.

With help from our new colleagues at AFSP, we continue to learn that mental health conditions are treatable, that suicide is preventable, that Talk Saves Lives and that ours is a message of caring and hope. We will help pass on this important information to the firearms community, which is motivated to do more in this area. No one wants to see firearms abused.

Our partnership’s first big step will be the launch of AFSP’s pilot project with its community-based chapters in four states this fall working with firearms retailers and shooting ranges to provide education to gun owners on suicide prevention and firearms. And early next year we expect to have an AFSP representative address firearms retailers and the outdoor media at our annual Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trade Show.

Our partnership holds tremendous potential to help save lives.  As you can see, AFSP and NSSF are working together for a common cause.

Learn more about our partnership with NSSF by clicking here.

Learn more about the Pilot Programs by clicking here.

August 22, 2016

Name: Chief James E. Craig

Department: Detroit Police Department

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

To help bolster awareness of our partnership with the National Shooting Sports Foundation and Project ChildSafe, we use myriad platforms to distribute Project ChildSafe gun locks and safety messages. One of the main methods of distribution is through community forums and events hosted by our Neighborhood Police Officers (NPO). The NPOs consider it a top priority to educate the members of our community on the dangers surrounding unsecured firearms. Furthermore, we urge any citizen to walk into any Detroit Police Precinct to obtain a Project ChildSafe gun lock at their leisure – no questions asked.  

Why does Detroit Police Department partner with Project ChildSafe?

Having partnered with over 15,000 law enforcement agencies in the United States, it's safe to say Project ChildSafe has proven to be a leader in firearms safety and an advocate for ensuring the safety of citizens across this nation. Thus, Project ChildSafe reflects the same compassion and commitment that the Detroit Police Department shares for our community. We have worked directly with Project ChildSafe to host press conferences where we distribute locks and firearm safety information. Keeping our community safe is of the utmost importance, and Project ChildSafe helps us do this.

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

Granting our citizens access to free gun locks along with valuable safety materials has educated families and made them feel more secure. Simply starting the discussion has helped to create awareness and, more importantly, an opportunity to assist with preventing accidental shootings in the home. Keeping an open dialogue on gun safety is key to creating a safe environment at home and in the community.

In addition to firearm safety, what are some of the best safety practices families can incorporate in their homes?

Some of the best home safety practices include:

  • Ensuring that your entrances and the perimeter of your home have sufficient lighting. 
  • As an added sense of security in addition to a home security system, storing your car keys or alarm remote near your beside is a sure way to alert neighbors of an emergency and even ward off criminals if you’re unable to call 9-1-1 by pushing the panic button.
  • Be mindful of the information you share on social media by avoiding publicly posting check-ins: you could possibly be telling masses of people that your home will be unoccupied, making your home vulnerable to burglary.   
  • Pay close attention to your surroundings at all times, especially when inputting alarm codes and pin numbers. 
  • Keep all medicine out of reach and out of sight of guests and children.

July 5, 2016

Name: Sheriff Timothy B. Howard

Department: Erie County Sheriff’s Office

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

We distribute gun locks in concert with county-wide events, such as the Erie County Fair, which garners a tremendous response. Additionally, through child/family safety events hosted by our agency and smaller community programs and events, as well as raffle baskets that we donate to for local charitable causes and benefits.

Why does the Erie County Sheriff’s Office partner with Project ChildSafe?

Erie County Sheriff’s Office and I strongly support responsible gun ownership; safe storage is a vital part of responsible ownership. Tragically, senseless injuries and death are caused when someone, usually an inquisitive child, finds an unsecured, loaded firearm that has not been properly secured.  All too often, the firearm ends up being discharged because children, and even some adults, don’t comprehend the dangers of “playing” with any firearm, which often leads to the senseless loss of limb or life.

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

The free gun lock program assists our agency in keeping the focus on Responsible Gun Ownership – on the Owner of the firearm, not the firearm. We emphasize that safe, proper training, handling and storage are the hallmarks of responsible gun ownership.

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

We can collectively enhance this vital message by setting a good example ourselves and encouraging others to be responsible; to continually think and act responsibly with all firearms, to ensure that we and others do not become complacent with regards to the safe, conscientious use and handling of any firearm.

In addition to firearm safety, what are some of the best safety practices families can incorporate in their homes?

Preparedness is a critical component of safety. Families should discuss emergency plans and drills, including such as “what to do if,” where to meet if separated and who to phone to leave a central message in the event of a disaster. Reinforcement of these plans and drills helps increase the likelihood that, in an emergency, family members will be less panic-stricken and more focused on a learned response to ensure their safety. Like your firearms, always be proactive in keeping your residence and property secured, whether home or away.

June 22, 2016

Name: Sheriff Ron Hickman and Chief Deputy Tim Cannon

Department: Harris County Sheriff’s Office, Houston, Texas

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

We have the opportunity to distribute PCS locks at the station and at events, such as town hall events and community activities in local schools. Unfortunately, our community has seen an increase in gun accidents recently, so we try to be as vigilant as we can to make sure our community members understand that these resources are available.

We always appreciate the opportunity to talk about the importance of gun safety with our community service group so everyone knows that these locks are here and that gun safety is crucial.

Why does the Harris County Sheriff’s Office partner with Project ChildSafe?

As the third largest Sheriff’s office in the country, we started our partnership with Project ChildSafe when we realized the tremendous advantage and asset these resources can be for our neighbors. It is rare to find free resources that can make such a big impact. We are always looking for ways to make the community safe, and working with Project ChildSafe is a huge opportunity to do so.

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

There is a large segment of our community that might not be able to afford to go out and buy a gun lock or gun safe. Because of our partnership with PCS, we are able to provide these locks at the station, and at community events, to those who have an interest. When we distribute the locks, we also have an opportunity to talk to community members about gun safety.

While it is hard to directly measure the impact in our community, I know Project ChildSafe has distributed over 37 million locks with 15,000 law enforcement partners, so that is a big impact all on its own.

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

Social media doesn’t cost a thing, and it has a big reach. If more people would share information about this program and the fact that these locks are available, it could be a huge help.

In addition to firearm safety, what are some of the best safety practices families can incorporate in their homes?

There are a number of things people can do to ensure that safety is woven into the fabric of their daily lives:

  • Make sure the exterior of your home is well lighted
  • Keep your shrubs and bushes to a reasonable height
  • Double check that you are locking windows, in addition to doors
  • Alarms in both your home and car can prevent many crimes

Generally, it is important to keep safety top of mind. It should not be an afterthought. In addition, many communities offer a law enforcement security assessment through which they will determine any vulnerabilities in your home security setup and design.


May 27, 2016

Name: Bill Klundt, Community Resource Officer

Department: Bozeman Police Department

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

The Bozeman Police Department distributes Project ChildSafe gun locks and safety materials at community events. These materials are also available at the front counter of our Police Department. We invite all Bozeman-area residents to stop by the station during normal business hours and pick up a gun lock and firearm safety information. A few months ago we participated in Sportsman’s Warehouse’s “Ladies Night” event and saw the value these locks and safety materials have firsthand.

Why does the Bozeman Police Department partner with Project ChildSafe?

Montana has a positive gun culture and many of our residents have guns for hunting, sport, and personal safety.  We work with Project Childsafe to give citizens the chance to take a positive, affordable approach to making their weapons safe around not only their children but the children of others. 

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

While we are unable to directly measure the impact, if the locks we have distributed save the life of a child or stopped a child from shooting another person accidentally, then it is a very positive impact.  It’s the stories you never hear about that are the successes.

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

I think the Bozeman Police Department’s program of making the locks available raises awareness.  I have noticed many females asking for the locks now that more of them are carrying weapons for personal safety. These women may be first time gun owners and are eager for information and safety materials. They in turn can spread the message of gun safety message to family, friends and neighbors who also take the necessary precautions.

In addition to firearm safety, what are some of the best safety practices families can incorporate in their homes?

In general, people need to be aware of their surroundings and be ready to act if necessary.

Parents need to stress “Stranger Danger” with their kids and help them understand techniques that are used by predators.  They also need a “code word” when someone is going to pick a child up.  The child should be taught not to go with that person under any circumstances if they don’t know the “code word”.

We are constantly stressing for people to reduce temptation by locking their homes and vehicles. 

Everyone should learn CPR and the Heimlich maneuver.  They may save their own child.

People should take a look at their home through the eyes of a criminal regarding environmental design.  Are bushes providing hiding places near windows, do lights activate around dark areas, do you stop your paper and mail when going out of town?