Not long ago, an Arizona mother walked into her bedroom and saw her two-year-old playing with her husband’s gun. She credited a Project ChildSafe lock—provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation—for preventing a tragedy.
We want to prevent our children from finding and misusing loaded firearm. That’s a tragedy waiting to happen, and it’s so easily prevented. That’s why NSSF launched Project ChildSafe in 1999. This nationwide program distributes free gun locks, promotes education about safe firearms handling, and emphasizes the importance of storing firearms responsibly.
Highlights of Project ChildSafe
A free cable lock from Project ChildSafe is always better than no secure storage at all (or assuming that a hidden gun is a “safe” gun), but a cable lock may not be the most desired storage option for all gun owners. Features including theft deterrence, protection from heat (fire) or other damage, and access to the firearm in an emergency are all important considerations.
Some highlights of various storage options developed by NSSF and Project ChildSafe:
Gun Cases are affordable, portable, protect guns from accidental damage and come in a variety of materials depending on the level of durability and security you’re looking for.
Lock Boxes can open with a key, a combination, finger pads, or your fingerprints alone. Most are portable (unless mounted to a nightstand or other furniture in the home or car) and made of metal, meaning they can provide greater theft deterrence and damage protection than a plastic gun case, and making them more expensive.
Gun Lockers/Gun Cabinets
Gun Lockers, made of lightweight medal, can hold multiple firearms. As a result, Gun Lockers sell at more affordable rates than heavy-gauge gun safes.
Gun Safes store several guns at once. They are an excellent fireproof option for the target shooter or hunter who has many different firearms. You can also purchase smaller versions made specifically for handguns.
Project ChildSafe Considerations
With any storage option, there is also the question of accessibility — how quickly can I get my gun if I need it? Some gun vault and safe manufacturers have videos showing the time needed to access a firearm. In fact, Project ChildSafe gear works faster than grabbing a gun from a drawer or the top of a nightstand.
ConcealedCarry.com president Jacob Paulsen also did an independent analysis on the subject. He concludes that, while secure storage may add 1.5 to 3.2 seconds to response time vs. a gun sitting loose on a nightstand, his preference—as a parent of young children—is for the peace of mind and the inability of criminals to access his gun that comes with secure Project ChildSafe storage.
Ultimately, every gun owner needs to decide what steps they want to take to prevent a preventable tragedy. Fortunately, the number of fatal firearms accidents have declined to historic low levels, even while firearm sales have increased.
We all want this trend to continue in the right direction, because gun owners prioritize safety and responsibility. It’s only when we get complacent about firearm safety that accidents happen, which is why an emphasis on storing firearms responsibly bears repeating. The more often responsible gun owners secure their firearms when not in use, the more accidents we will prevent, and the fewer guns will end up in the wrong hands.
Visit NSSF’s Project ChildSafe at www.projectchildsafe.org to access their free library of safety information, including tips for safe firearm storage at home, a hunting safety checklist, videos on how to talk to your kids about gun safety and other resources.
Gunbacker.com is a proud supporter of Project Childsafe and all their efforts to ensure firearms are kept locked up. For more information about Project Childsafe, check out the video below.