SHOT show highlights firearm safety program

I recently attended the annual SHOT Show while spending part of the winter in Las Vegas.

SHOT is an annual trade show for outdoor and firearms enthusiasts, as well as law enforcement personnel. It is sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and draws about 60,000 attendees from all over the world.

I couldn't get into all the exhibits and booths since I didn't pre-register as a member of the media. But SHOT personnel did direct me to some enthusiastic folks from the NSSF's Project ChildSafe, noting the program is worth publicizing.

Project ChildSafe promotes firearm safety education and accident prevention to gun-owning families in all 50 states and five U.S. territories. The organization distributes free safety kits and gun locks through hunting organizations and local law enforcement agencies. It also encourages parents to talk to their kids about responsible gun handling and use.

ChildSafe representative Jeanne Moran said this was her second year at the SHOT Show. She estimated ChildSafe reached 200 new support organizations, including some gun range owners and gun dealers, during this year's four-day show.

Coincidentally, Ducks Unlimited announced a partnership with Project ChildSafe on Jan. 27. DU members will be hearing the project's message: "Own It? Respect it. Secure it" often in the coming year.

"Responsible firearms ownership falls first on the parents and mentors of these young hunters and firearms enthusiasts," said Dale Hall of DU. "By joining forces with Project ChildSafe, we hope to continue to promote safe firearms education to not only the younger generation, but to all gun owners."

Steve Sanetti said the NSSF is "thrilled" to have Ducks Unlimited working with the project to promote firearm safety.

NSSF initiated a firearm education effort in 1998 with Project HomeSafe. That name changed to Project ChildSafe in 2003, Moran said.

In 2008, NSSF lost grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice. But another grant application is pending, Moran said.

"We're hoping for additional funding this year," she said.

She estimated more than 30 million free firearm safety kits and gun locks have been distributed through the project since its inception.

Additional information is available here.

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