PROJECT CHILDSAFE MEMPHIS ENHANCES LOCAL EFFORTS TO HELP PREVENT FIREARMS ACCIDENTS, THEFTS AND MISUSE
New Partners, 7,000 More Gun Locks and More Places to Get them Coming in Time for Summer
MEMPHIS, Tenn. – The National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), together with Memphis Mayor Jim Strickland and U.S. Attorney Michael Dunavant, today announced that Project ChildSafe’s free gun locks, will now be available at all 30 of Memphis’ community and senior centers throughout the city, starting Memorial Day weekend, May 26-28.
The announcement comes as Project ChildSafe Memphis marks more than six months of working to promote responsible gun storage in the region. The program launched last October, following several accidents involving children who found unsecured firearms in their homes. Through partnerships with the Mayor’s Office, the Memphis Police Department, suicide prevention groups, local media and the faith community, Project ChildSafe Memphis gave away more than 3,000 gun locks on Oct. 17. Since then, more than 6,000 additional locks have been distributed by the Memphis police, community organizations, firearms retailers and local churches.
“Thousands of locks have been given away, families are talking, and the program is definitely helping make gun safety in the home a priority throughout Memphis,” said Mayor Strickland. “Rather than get complacent, however, we’re working with Project ChildSafe to make 3,000 more gun locks and educational resources available at all of our city’s community and senior centers, and our police department is making an additional 4,000 locks available through all of its precincts.”
New partnerships with organizations such as the Making A Difference Coalition, which holds multiple events around the region, will complement existing partnerships with 4-H Shooting Sports, Delta Waterfowl, Range USA, The Well Armed Woman, Mt. Pisgah Baptist Church, The Pursuit of God Transformation Center, and local media to continue emphasizing firearms safety in the home.
“As a community, we have seen directly how firearms accidents and misuse affect families, neighborhoods and whole communities,” said Michael Dunavant, U.S. Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee. “And in almost every case, we’ve also seen how accidents could have been prevented. I’m hopeful that as this campaign continues in Memphis, these efforts will save lives.”
Project ChildSafe Memphis, as part of the Project ChildSafe Communities initiative, is supported by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice’s Bureau of Justice Assistance. The goal of the effort is 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.
“This enhanced effort is especially important as summer begins,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “Storing firearms responsibly is important all year, but it’s important to really stress that message when school is out and kids are more likely to be at home and possibly on their own.”
Through partnerships with more than 15,000 local law enforcement agencies and more than 8,700 organizational supporters, NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program has distributed more than 37 million free firearm safety kits—which include a free gun lock— and has helped educate firearms owners on the importance of gun safety in communities across all 50 states and the U.S. territories.
For more information on Project ChildSafe Communities and how to get involved, visit projectchildsafe.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.