NEWTOWN, Conn., and WASHINGTON, D.C. – The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) unveiled a new public service announcement (PSA), “Protect the People You Love,” to encourage families to talk about gun safety—regardless of whether they have a gun in the home.
The PSA, which is viewable and downloadable on the Project ChildSafe website in time for National Safety Month this June, focuses on the false assumptions that children are unaware of firearms in the home or know not to touch them without permission. The 30-second spot emphasizes how families can help prevent firearms accidents by talking about gun safety with children. Further, storing firearms responsibly addresses the issue that many children are often familiar with where and how firearms are stored—much more than parents might think.
“Parents and caregivers talk to kids about big issues like drugs, sex and alcohol; we need to talk to our kids about gun safety as well. Even if you don’t own a gun yourself, having this conversation is vital,” said BJA Director Jon Adler. “If you don’t have this talk with your kids, they’re going to learn about guns from someone else, whether on TV or from friends, and chances are they aren’t going to learn what you’d want to teach them.”
As more Americans continue to purchase firearms for personal protection and safety, the importance of storing them is critical. Although the number of fatal firearms accidents is at historic lows, the fact remains that these accidents are almost always preventable. Proper firearms storage helps prevent thefts, accidents and misuse, such as suicide.
“Protecting your family doesn’t stop with bringing a gun into your home, it also means doing what you need to do so a loaded gun isn’t picked up by a child or someone who may be at risk of harming themselves – or others,” said NSSF CEO Steve Sanetti. “If you have a gun, be sure your family understands the safety rules, and always store it responsibly. That’s the best way to protect the people you love.”
To further help parents in having the important conversation about firearms safety, Project ChildSafe also has an instructional video, “Talking to Kids about Gun Safety,” on its website.
Funding for the PSA comes from a $2.4 million grant that BJA awarded NSSF’s Project ChildSafe initiative in 2015. Project ChildSafe provides firearms safety education messaging and free gun locks to communities throughout the country in an effort to help reduce firearms accidents, theft and misuse.
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About Project ChildSafe: NSSF, the trade association of the firearms industry, launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (originally as Project HomeSafe). Since 1999, the program has provided more than 38 million free firearm safety kits and gun locks to firearm owners in all 50 states through partnerships with thousands of law enforcement agencies across the country. That’s in addition to the more than 70 million free locking devices manufacturers have included, and continue to include, with new firearms sold since 1998. While helping to prevent accidents among children is a focus, Project ChildSafe is intended to help adults practice greater firearm safety in the home. More information is available at projectchildsafe.org.
About NSSF: The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of thousands of manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers nationwide. For more information, visit nssf.org.
This project was supported by Grant No. 2015-FG-BX-K001 awarded by the Bureau of Justice Assistance. The Bureau of Justice Assistance is a component of the Department of Justice’s Office of Justice Programs, which also includes the Bureau of Justice Statistics, the National Institute of Justice, the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, the Office for Victims of Crime, and the Office of Sex Offender Sentencing, Monitoring, Apprehending, Registering, and Tracking. Points of view or opinions in this document are those of the author and do not necessarily represent the official position or policies of the U.S. Department of Justice.