On Friday evening, ABC News 20/20 highlighted what can occur, thankfully in decreasing instances, when children obtain firearms that are left unsecured by their owners. This is being addressed through a very successful industry program aimed at reducing firearms accidents, which now amount to less than 1 percent of all fatal accidents in the home, even further.
The firearms industry, through the National Shooting Sports Foundation, launched Project ChildSafe more than 15 years ago as a national firearm safety education program to provide responsible gun owners with the resources needed to help keep their firearms out of the wrong hands. Since the program’s inception, we have provided more than 36 million free firearm safety kits and gun locks to firearm owners through partnerships with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies. That’s in addition to the more than 60 million free locking devices firearms manufacturers have included with new firearms sold since 1998.
This week the Orange County Sheriff’s Office, a partner of our program, held a firearm safety presentation for the children of Victory Christian Academy in Florida. Sheriff Jerry L. Demings’ efforts to educate his community on the importance of gun safety are to be commended. His actions are a shining example of the goals of the Project ChildSafe program to help prevent firearm accidents and misuse.
Responsible firearms owners everywhere recognize firearm safety as their obligation. If someone can’t or won’t accept that responsibility, we strongly urge them not to own a firearm. The facts show proper storage is the number one way to help prevent firearm accidents, and while research shows these accidents have declined dramatically in the last 20 years, we can still do much more. All firearms can be stored safely and securely—right now. If you would like a free firearm safety kit and gun lock, or you know someone who can use one, please visit ProjectChildSafe.org and click on “Find a Safety Kit,” to find one of our law enforcement partners near you. Agencies that would like to partner with Project ChildSafe can do so via the website.