Ohio Funds Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program in Schools for Second Year

Fairfax, VA—For the second year in a row, the Ohio legislature has appropriated funds so that schools can purchase the National Rifle Association’s Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program materials to teach gun accident prevention to children in pre-K through the third grade. The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program has reached 18 million children in all 50 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico.

Created by past NRA President Marion P. Hammer, in consultation with child psychologists, elementary schoolteachers, and law enforcement officers, the program gives children a simple, effective action to take should they encounter a firearm in an unsupervised situation: “If you see a gun, STOP! Don’t Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult.”

Over the years, the program has been praised by numerous groups and elected officials, including the National Safety Council, the U.S. Department of Justice, and 24 state governors. When the program was formally endorsed by the National Sheriffs’ Association in 2002, Sheriff John Cary Bittick, president of the group at the time, said, “We are proud to partner with the National Rifle Association on this very important issue, and we would like to express our full support for this program.”

NRA also regularly receives letters from parents whose children have encountered a firearm, but, because of what they learned in Eddie Eagle, avoided accidents. In fact, fatal firearm accidents in the Eddie Eagle age group have been reduced more than two-thirds since the inception of the program, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. NRA feels that gun accident prevention programs such as Eddie Eagle are a significant factor in that decline.

Commenting on the program she created, past NRA President Marion P. Hammer said, “The NRA is committed to helping keep America's children safe. This program also instills in our youth the important values of leadership, discipline, and personal responsibility that will help our children throughout their lives. It is imperative that all parents be responsible for teaching good judgment and gun safety to their children."

Interested school districts may contact the NRA Program Materials Center at (800) 336-7402, refer to code EDDIEODE, and include their IRN number. After receiving the materials schools should send a copy of the invoice to: Norma Fletcher, Ohio Dept. of Ed., 25 South Front Street, Columbus, OH 43215, or by e-mail at [email protected]. ODE will reimburse districts for the cost of the materials plus shipping and handling. NRA will maintain a record of materials purchased by schools in FY 2005. The dollars are limited and no expenditures beyond the statewide annual total will be allowed. For more information about the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program please call (800) 231-0752 or visit the Web site at www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie.

Please consider sharing this information with your local school officials/ school board members. The most direct evidence of a continuing lack of gun safety education in homes and schools can be found in the newspapers...and emergency rooms. This funding has been made available, but we can only count on its continuance if it is used! Don't wait for more headlines like these:

    Cleveland: Boy faces charges for wounding friend
    The seven-shot revolver that 14-year-old Thomas Mattice said he found behind a grocery nearly ruined two lives - the life of the boy he shot and his own.

    Toledo: E. Toledo boy is shot accidentally by a juvenile
    A 10-year-old East Toledo boy was hurt seriously last night in what police say was an accidental shooting in an alley behind 244 White St. near Ravine Parkway.

    Dayton: Boy accidentally shot by neighbor, 5
    A 7-year-old boy was accidentally shot Wednesday by his 5-year-old neighbor who was playing with a loaded .22 revolver the older boy found in an alley, police said.

Related Story:
November 16, 2003 - Ohio becomes the first state to fund gun safety education in public schools

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