NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) and its partners urge gun owners to keep firearm safety a top priority and are making safety resources widely available as gun and ammunition sales increase, especially among first-time firearm purchasers.
“During this stressful time and with children spending more time at home, the firearm industry reminds gun owners that protecting yourself and your family includes making sure your firearms are stored securely when not in use,” said Joe Bartozzi, NSSF President and CEO. “The last thing any firearm owner wants is to have their gun fall into the wrong hands, particularly those of a child or someone at risk of harming themselves.”
NSSF is working with firearm retailers nationwide to ensure they discuss safe storage options with their customers, whether they are new to gun ownership or experienced. Although safety is something firearm retailers regularly talk about with their patrons, the reminder by NSSF comes at a time when retailers across the country are extremely busy due to rising interest in firearm ownership.
For anyone considering buying a gun, Project ChildSafe®’s “Road To Responsible Firearm Ownership” tool discusses the basic safety steps a gun owner can take to ensure responsible ownership. Project ChildSafe’s “Many Paths to Firearm Safety” video series can also help gun owners understand how to determine the best safe storage device for their lifestyle, as can this Safe Storage Options infographic.
NSSF encourages gun owners and non-gun owners to use the library of firearm safety resources available on its Project ChildSafe website. These include the McGruff Gun Safety videos for young children and an educational video for parents on how to discuss gun safety with children of all ages.
“More parents are assuming the role of educators in their homes, so it’s a good to time have a talk with your kids about gun safety, even if you don’t own a gun,” Bartozzi said. “If you do own a firearm, be sure your family understands the safety rules regarding firearms in your home, and always store guns responsibly when not in use.”
Although the number of fatal firearm accidents is at historic lows, such accidents are almost always preventable. Proper firearm storage is the #1 way to help prevent accidents, as well as deter thefts. Secure storage can also play a role in helping to prevent access by persons going through a difficult time.
Since 2017, NSSF has partnered with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) to educate gun owners about mental wellness and suicide prevention. In this recent blog post, AFSP discusses taking care of one’s mental health during times of uncertainty.
In addition, AFSP and NSSF have developed a Suicide Prevention toolkit to help firearm retailers, shooting range operators and their customers understand risk factors and warning signs related to suicide, know where to find help and encourage secure firearm storage.
Anyone needing help for themselves or others can call the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline at 1-800-273-TALK or contact the crisis text line by texting TALK to 741741.
For more information on firearm safety, please visit ProjectChildSafe.org.