Gun Safety Begins With You
Our collective efforts are moving the trend in the right direction, but our goal should be no gun-related accidents. That’s why the NSSF and its member companies continue to stress safe practices, education and development of safety products.
If you own guns, it’s up to you to assume complete responsibility for their security from unauthorized use.
Did you know?
- The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project ChildSafe program helps coordinate distribution of firearm safety kits which include a free cable-style gun lock. Since Project ChildSafe’s inception, more than 38 million safety kits have been donated throughout the U.S.
- Unintentional firearm-related fatalities are at their lowest level since record-keeping began in 1903 and represent fewer than 1/3 percent of all fatal accidents from all major causes.
- Project ChildSafe® has more than 9,000 supportor organizations dedicated to promoting NSSF’s “Own It? Respect It. Secure It.” campaign, designed to help prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands.
- During the last decade, the number of unintentional firearm-related fatalities involving children 14 years of age and under has decreased by 13 percent; in the last 20 years, they have decreased by 55 percent.
- In the past 10 years, firearm-related fatalities in the home have dropped by 25 percent; they have decreased by 50 percent in the last 20 years.
See a relationship between some of the statistics just mentioned? You should, and you would be exactly right if you surmised that lower accident rates were driven by the gun industry’s drumbeat emphasis on safety.
Let’s take a look at some simple steps you can take to improve gun safety in your home.
The first step to learning anything new is always education. The good news is that, in this case, it’s simple and free. Visit the NSSF’s firearm safety website to learn more about Project ChildSafe and the many gun safety resources it provides for adults and children. You can also order free safety education materials and sign up for periodic emails regarding safety and gun ownership so that your conversations about these subjects with family members, friends and other shooters can be ongoing.
These materials aren’t just for personal use. They are frequently used to help teachers and administrators at local schools learn about his subject, along with teaching aids to provide gun safety information in the classroom. That’s exactly what the Sonoma County, California, school district and others are doing. Have you thought about talking to your school administrators about instituting such a learning program? You might be surprised what happens when you start the conversation. While people may not agree on gun policy, we can all agree on the importance of teaching firearms safety.
Free Gun Locks
If you’re a gun owner, and especially if you have children in your house, you can secure your gun at home for no cost at all. Project ChildSafe Safety Kits include a cable lock that renders a handgun inoperable. If you have a semi-automatic handgun, the cable is threaded through the slide and magazine well, preventing the gun from being loaded or fired. Own a revolver? No problem. Run the cable lock through the cylinder to put the gun out of operation. You can use a simple cable lock on most any kind of handgun, rifle, pump or semi-automatic shotgun.
Every new gun on retailers’ shelves today includes a complimentary gun lock. If you have a gun that you bought as a used gun, inherited or otherwise acquired without a lock accompanying it, you can get a free lock at your local law enforcement department. The NSSF has partnered with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies to help distribute safety locks—they’re out there, and all you have to do is ask for one. For more information, check projectchildsafe.org to see what communities near you have partnered with NSSF in this very smart project. And if your local agency doesn’t participate, have them go to projectchildsafe.org to request free gun safety locks and literature.
Gun Safes and Boxes
When you keep a gun for home or self-defense, it’s still your responsibility to keep your gun secured away from unauthorized users (certainly minors, but also nosy visitors, burglars, really anyone who does not have your specific permission to access your firearms). With the many affordable gun security systems on the market today, you can keep your gun ready and accessible—important when you need to protect yourself—yet secure from unauthorized access.
While a traditional gun safe is a great way to secure your guns, it may not offer quick access in the event of emergency. Companies like GunVault, Hornady and The GunBox offer secure storage solutions that allow authorized users to gain immediate access to their gun using touch-combination or fingerprint scanners.
Those are just some of the many quick-access gun security devices out there, so really, there’s just no excuse for careless gun handling when so many safety resources are available at low or no cost. Do your part to continue driving down the gun-related accident rate. Check out the NSSF’s safety programs today. It’s just part of the organization’s overall effort to promote, protect, and preserve our firearms rights.
 The statistics presented in this issue are based on figures from the National Safety Council’s Injury Facts® (2018) online data, nsc.org,
and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Web-based Injury Statistics Query and Reporting System (WISQARS) [online].
(2005)[cited 2020 March 25]. Available from: cdc.gov/injury/wisqars/