WICHITA, Kan.—The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), along with the Wichita Police Department and Professional Outdoor Media Association (POMA), today launched Project ChildSafe to encourage responsible firearms ownership with an emphasis on securely storing firearms when not in use.
At a press event at Wichita Gun Club, Wichita P.D. announced that it will be distributing hundreds of free firearms safety kits donated by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and the firearms industry to encourage responsible storage of guns when not in use. The goal is to help prevent firearms accidents, thefts and misuse, including suicide.
“The gun locks and educational materials donated by NSSF and Project ChildSafe help remind gun owners about their responsibility to store their guns safely so they’re not accessible by children or unauthorized adults,” said Wichita P.D. Lieutenant Kevin Kochenderfer.
Wichita P.D. officers provided demonstrations of how the Project ChildSafe cable lock can be properly installed on various types of firearms — pistols, rifles and shotguns — so that it will help prevent the firearm from being loaded and fired.
Other secure gun storage options available to gun owners also were discussed. “We’re pleased to be partnering with Wichita Police Department and working together to let gun owners know they have many secure storage options—from gun locks to lock boxes to full-size gun safes—to choose from to help keep their guns from falling into the wrong hands,” said Bill Brassard, NSSF Senior Director of Communications. “The number one way to help prevent accidents, thefts and misuse is to securely store guns when not in use.”
POMA, whose annual conference is being held in Wichita this week, has a membership of outdoor communicators who cover hunting and shooting sports and are advocates for responsible firearms handling and storage. “POMA has long been a supporter of NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program and its messaging that helps prevent firearms accidents at home, during transportation and in the field,” said Kevin Orthman, POMA Executive Director.
Unsecured guns can pose an accident risk to children and create opportunities for theft and misuse, including suicide attempts. Keeping guns out of the wrong hands can be accomplished when gun owners put safeguards in place appropriate to their home and family circumstances. Proper storage can help prevent guns from being stolen and used by criminals, and provide that vital “pause” that can mean the difference between life and death for people experiencing suicidal thoughts.
Project ChildSafe is a NSSF program marking its 20th year of promoting firearm safety through the distribution of safety education messages and free firearm safety kits that include a gun lock. The program’s website, ProjectChildSafe.org, has many gun safety resources, including a video on how parents can talk to their kids about gun safety and two new, award-winning videos for young children featuring the McGruff character warning kids to “Stop. Don’t Touch. Get Away. Tell an Adult.” if they should come across an unattended firearm.
Through partnerships with more than 15,000 local law enforcement agencies and more than 9,000 organizational supporters, Project ChildSafe has helped educate firearm owners on the importance of gun safety, while distributing more than 38 million free firearm safety kits — which include a free gun lock — to communities in all 50 states and the U.S. territories.
For more information on Project ChildSafe and how to get involved, visit projectchildsafe.org.
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.
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.