NSSF, Area Leaders Launch “Project ChildSafe Albuquerque” Firearm Safety Initiative
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M., Nov. 10, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®), Albuquerque City Councilors Brook Bassan and Klarissa Peña, representatives from Albuquerque Public Schools, the New Mexico State Police, the New Mexico Department of Game & Fish, and the Albuquerque Police Department—together with local firearm retailers and training organizations—today launched “Project ChildSafe® Albuquerque” city-wide to help prevent firearm accidents and aid in suicide prevention efforts.
“We’re launching Project ChildSafe Albuquerque with the goal of helping reduce child gun accidents, thefts, suicides and misuse of firearms,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF’s President and CEO and Chairman of the Project ChildSafe Foundation. “Central to all of this is a goal to encourage gun owners to store their firearms responsibly. We know safe and responsible gun storage works, and helps save lives.”
NSSF and its local partners are making hundreds of free gun locks, along with a library of educational materials on firearm safety in the home, available to the community. NSSF will emphasize firearm safety messaging and remind Albuquerque gun owners that a hidden gun is not a safely-stored gun through an ongoing digital advertising campaign.
NSSF is providing the free locks and resources through its Project ChildSafe initiative, which has distributed more than 40 million free gun locks through partnerships with thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country.
The citywide initiative will also focus on suicide prevention by offering residents a free Parents Resource guide, developed by NSSF in consultation with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention. As the COVID-19 pandemic has exacerbated mental health concerns, especially among teens, it is important for gun owners to understand mental health risks and warning signs of suicide—as well as proper gun storage practices to help prevent access to a potential method of self-harm.
The free guide can help parents recognize signs their kids may be struggling with mental health issues and offers advice on how to talk to kids about suicide, and make their homes safer for those who may be at-risk.
“We want to equip parents with resources and tips to have a conversation about mental health with their children and take steps to secure firearms and other potential lethal means,” Councilor Bassan said. “Secure gun storage is one important way to provide a vital ‘pause’ that can save a life.”
Proper firearm storage can also help make communities safer by preventing guns from being stolen and used in crimes.
“It is vital that we get these tools and information to our communities in an effort to prevent tragedies,” said Councilor Peña. “It’s been an honor working with my colleague Councilor Bassan, NSSF, APD and APS to give out the gun locks—but most importantly, working with families and connecting them to resources to help prevent suicide.”
“In recent years, thanks to partnerships like this, fatal firearm accidents have dropped to historic lows and that’s a trend we want to see continue in the right direction,” Bartozzi said. “That starts with a community-shared responsibility and emphasis on firearm safety. We’re grateful to Councilors Bassan and Peña, and all our local partners for joining us in this effort.”