Gun Safety Begins With You

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 36 million safety kits have been donated throughout the U.S.
  • Firearm-related fatalities in the U.S. have been decreasing consistently since record keeping began in 1903 and dramatically in the last 20 years.[1]
  • More than 600 different organizations have signed on to support the National Shooting Sports Foundation’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 28 percent; in the last 20 years, they have decreased by 74 percent.[1]
  • In the past 10 years, firearm-related fatalities in the home have dropped by 33 percent; they have decreased by 50 percent in the last 20 years.[2]

Not Good Enough

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.

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 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. 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 take the Own it? Respect it. Secure it. pledge. 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, especially a gun user in the law enforcement or security professions, you can secure your gun at home for no cost at all. NSSF Safety Kits include a cable lock that renders a handgun completely inoperable. If you have a semi-automatic handgun, the cable winds 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 most gun stores or your local law enforcement officer. 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 in most cases. For more information, check to see what communities near you have partnered with NSSF in this very smart project.

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. It’s just part of the organization’s overall effort to promote, protect and preserve our firearms rights.

COPYRIGHT © 2014 by National Shooting Sports Foundation, Inc. and the individual authors of the materials contributed or referenced in NSSF® First Shots News for Beginner ShootersSM. Permission is granted for the broadcast, publication, retransmission to e-mail lists, Web sites or any other copying or storage, in any medium, online or not, of NSSF copyrighted material herein if 1) the text is forwarded in its entirety, including this paragraph, and 2) no fee is charged.

[1] National Shooting Sports Foundation: Firearms-related Injury Statistics.

[2] National Shooting Sports Foundation: Firearms-related Injury Statistics

[3] National Shooting Sports Foundation: Firearms-related Injury Statistics

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