In 2009, the Obama Administration and Attorney General Eric Holder cut off $90M in funds that provided free gun locks to people looking to secure their firearms from children in their homes. The program they cut was called Project Child Safe and had received funding from the government during 2003-2008. Project Child Safe was started by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) in 1998.
“You can do a lot with $90 million,” says spokesman Bill Romanelli about the funding cut. But the NSSF did not shut the program down, they continued to fund it themselves and recently committed $1M dollars to educate and provide gun owners with a way to secure their firearms. For free.
Although the administration has used tragedies like Sandy Hook for grandstanding about the need for gun control to protect children, it was the NSSF who put child protection at the top of their list after the current administration abandoned their program.
Romanelli says they have provided 36 million free firearm safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states. The program works through more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies who distribute the locks in their communities. Since ramping up the program aggressively in April of last year, Romanelli says demand for the free gun locks has tripled. “Supply is having a hard time keeping up with demand.” Every day the NSSF receives 5-10 new requests for hundreds of firearm safety kits from law enforcement agencies.
In 2014, the NSSF is planning on continuing to spread the word about their safety program. Their motto is “Own it? Respect it. Secure it.” Now with the help of over 400 small business gun range owners, sporting clubs, retailers like Cabela’s and USA Shooting, they expect their success to educate gun owners about gun security to continue.
Learn more about helping with Project Child Safe here. Every $2 provides a home with a cable lock for their firearm.