Receiving the gift of a safe or gun lock for your household during the holidays is not as sexy as finding a Beretta shotgun under the tree, but it’s a gift for all seasons. Keeping your children safe is always in season. As gun owners, we put up with a lot when it comes to attacks on our freedoms. We are collectively blamed for every accident that happens. As we start thinking of family events, travel and kids, I want to introduce to some and remind others about the National Sport Shooting Foundation’s Project Childsafe program. It was started in 2003 to promote safe firearm arms handling and good storage practices. The program started off from grants from the Department of Justice, but today is funded solely by the firearms industry.
The holiday season for us in the gun community is a good time to rethink firearm safety. It’s the time when friends, family and neighbors (invited or not) come into our homes to hang out with us and share in the traditions that make this time of the year special. It’s also a good time to make sure you are able to prevent unauthorized access to your firearms and keep children that may have not have had the benefit of a proper education secure.
Remember how much fun it was to hunt for hidden Christmas presents as a kid? There was always some neighborhood kid in the house, too. And some kids don’t have the same opportunities your kids do to learn about firearm safety and responsibility. You don’t want little Billy from down the street to find your firearm during this mad rush to look for toys. Project Childsafe is here to remind you and show you how you can securely store your firearms at home.
It doesn’t have to be expensive or elaborate, it simply has to work. Kits are available that include cable-style gun locking devices and brochures that speak to safe gun handling and storage. Law enforcement agencies have distributed millions of these safety kits around the U.S. and they help with public relations for the departments, community leaders, and businesses that use Project Childsafe to raise awareness. There is a push now to get Congress to renew funding for this so that more safety kits can be provided to the many that ask for them.
You know that all firearm accidents in the home can be prevented if gun owners take few simple precautions to prevent children or other unauthorized persons from accessing firearms. It’s one of those things that everybody hates to hear about knowing someone could have prevented it. Precautions include storing firearms unloaded in locked cabinets, safes or storage cases. A locking device can be used as an additional safety precaution. If you are not relying on your firearms for personal protection, ammunition should be stored in a locked location separate from firearms, espescially when you have people over.
People that are afraid of guns don’t need a new reason to want to take away the rights of others in the gun community. This is one of those no-brainers that we can do to save lives and protect our rights.
Places like Washington, DC, New Jersey and Chicago come to mind, where buying a big gun safe isn’t a practical option. For an apartment or townhouse owner, accidents occur because the firearm that was brought into the house for self defense is improperly secured and is found by a child/teen and removed from the home. That is why, economically, a program like Project Childsafe is outstanding. While a stationary gun safe is great, any way you can lock a firearm to a wall or floor like using the US RAC system would be beneficial.
Or maybe you are not going to let little Billy into your house and you are not having a dinner party with figgie pudding. Properly securing your firearms while you travel and are away from your home is still a smart thing to do.
Make sure you share this little reminder about gun safety, locks, safes and Project Childsafe in your circles. We are all in this together. Happy Holidays.