Partnership for Safety of Children Around Firearms Launches Store it Safe Campaign

COLUMBUS, Ohio, March 6, 2017 — The Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics (Ohio AAP) has teamed up with firearm owners, pediatricians and others to create the Partnership for Safety of Children Around Firearms, and a pilot program called Store it Safe, to encourage safe storage of firearms and educate families about safety issues.

"Twenty-five percent of Ohio counties have had gun-related accidental injuries and deaths in children under 18 since 2015,” said Melissa Wervey Arnold, CEO, Ohio Chapter, American Academy of Pediatrics. "It was clear we needed to address this growing issue and pull resources from other organizations to form this first-of-its-kind partnership.”

The Partnership has been founded on the belief that gun ownership is a personal choice. It will not engage in debating firearm owner rights. The Partnership includes the Buckeye Firearms Association, Black Wing Shooting Center, Kiwanis Club of Columbus and many other interested parties.

The goals of the Partnership are to:

  • Prevent firearm-related, unintentional deaths and suicides among children and teens
  • Change our approach in talking about firearm safety
  • Store it Safe and teach children safety around firearms

Kiwanis Club of Columbus has provided $10,000 to purchase gun lock boxes that will be handed out at 2 and 3-year-old well-visit check-ups in several Nationwide Children’s Hospital pediatric offices in central Ohio.

"We believe strongly in the second amendment, but we also believe in being a responsible gun owner and protecting our children,” said Gerard Valentino, co-founder, Buckeye Firearms Association. "This partnership is unique and we’re thrilled to be part of it and have all parties at the table to discuss gun safety."

For more information about gun safety and Ohio AAP’s initiatives, visit:

Why does Ohio need the Partnership for the Safety of Children Around Firearms?

  • Nationally, 1 out of 3 homes with kids has a gun
  • Nearly 1.7 million kids live in a home with a loaded and unlocked gun
  • ¼ of 3 and 4 year olds can pull a 10-pound trigger, and approximately 60% of handguns require trigger-pull strength of less than 5 pounds
  • Accidental shootings by toddlers (3 years or younger) occurred on a weekly basis in 2015 and even more frequently in 2016
  • Half of all unintentional shooting deaths among children occur at home, and almost half occur in the home of a friend or relative
  • The number of children shot and killed by guns has an upward trend in the past 6 years, according to the Franklin County’s Child Fatality Review

Quick Tips for Keeping Children Safe in the Home

Since children over age two are more mobile, it’s important to set up your home to keep children safe. Here are a few ideas to consider:

  1. Guns should always be stored out of sight and locked when not in immediate possession of the gun owner.
  2. Keep medicines and household cleaners out of a child’s reach.
  3. Fence in your pool or hot tub on all 4 sides.
  4. Check for hazards in homes your child may visit.

Helpful Resources for Families

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