NEWTOWN, Conn. — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) and the Bureau of Justice Assistance (BJA) unveiled a new public service announcement (PSA), “Protect the People You Love,” to encourage families to talk about gun safety — regardless of whether they have a gun in the home.
The PSA, which is viewable and downloadable on the Project ChildSafe® website
in time for National Safety Month this June, focuses on the false assumptions that children are unaware of firearms in the home or know not to touch them without permission. The 30-second spot emphasizes how families can help prevent firearms accidents by talking about gun safety with children. Further, storing firearms responsibly addresses the issue that many children are often familiar with where and how firearms are stored — much more than parents might think.
“Parents and caregivers talk to kids about big issues like drugs, sex and alcohol; we need to talk to our kids about gun safety as well. Even if you don’t own a gun yourself, having this conversation is vital,” said BJA Director Jon Adler. “If you don’t have this talk with your kids, they’re going to learn about guns from someone else, whether on TV or from friends, and chances are they aren’t going to learn what you’d want to teach them.”
As more Americans continue to purchase firearms for personal protection and safety, the importance of storing them responsibly is critical. Although the number of fatal firearms accidents is at historic lows, the fact remains that these accidents are almost always preventable. Proper firearms storage helps prevent thefts, accidents and misuse, such as suicide.
“Protecting your family doesn’t stop with bringing a gun into your home, it also means doing what you need to do so a loaded gun isn’t picked up by a child or someone who may be at risk of harming themselves – or others,” said NSSF CEO Steve Sanetti. “If you have a gun, be sure your family understands the safety rules, and always store it responsibly when not in use. That’s the best way to protect the people you love.”
To further help parents in having the important conversation about firearms safety, Project ChildSafe also has an instructional video,“Talking to Kids about Gun Safety,”
on its website.
Funding for the PSA comes from a $2.4 million grant that BJA awarded NSSF’s Project ChildSafe initiative in 2015. Project ChildSafe provides firearms safety education messaging and free gun locks to communities throughout the country in an effort to help reduce firearms accidents, theft and misuse.