NSSF: Guns Are Selling, but Gun Safety is Priceless

By Joe Bartozzi

Project Childsafe Gun Lock
Project Childsafe provides free gun locks to shooters. IMG NSSF.org

U.S.A. -(AmmoLand.com)- Guns are flying off the shelves these days, but at the same time the most important commodity in the firearms marketplace is free and invaluable: That’s responsible and safe firearm ownership.

“It’s important that we all understand the responsibility,” explained Jon Ogawa of Grandpa’s Pawn and Gun in Longmont, Colo., in a recent WAMU report.

NSSF surveys show that firearm retailers believe 40 percent of all gun purchases this year have been to first-time buyers. Americans bought more than 2.1 million firearms in June alone and with each purchase comes the responsibility to be a safe and educated gun owner.

Jeanelle Westrom, owner of Davenport Guns in Davenport, Iowa, reinforced that sentiment. “There’s just a lot to do. There’s a lot to know, and making the purchase is just the first step,” she said. “Training, training, training.”

The firearm industry has made safety, education and training the pillars of responsible gun ownership. That’s a constant maxim that applies all the time, not just during periods of elevated sales and a wave of new gun owners. Firearm owners must have access to the resources they need to become educated and safe.

Safe Storage at Home

The first consideration a gun purchaser must consider along with a gun purchase is safe home storage. Securing a gun when it’s not carried or in use is critical to reducing firearm accidents. It’s also easily accomplished with the free locking device that’s included by the manufacturer with each new gun. NSSF’s Project ChildSafe program partners with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies and community partners to distribute free firearm safety kits that include a gun lock, contributing to the more than 100 million locking devices provided by industry to gun owners free of charge. Each firearm owner should continually assess their own storage needs, and NSSF provides resources to help. First-time owners will benefit by reviewing Project ChildSafe’s buying your first firearm infographic.

Denver Mayor Michael Hancock praised the effectiveness of gun locks at a recent distribution in his community, sponsored by NSSF through a partnership with the Denver Police Department. He encouraged his fellow citizens to access the free locks and do their part to secure firearms.

“We want to empower every resident to make a difference,” Mayor Hancock said.

Since NSSF launched Project ChildSafe in 1999, the gun lock giveaway program has distributed more than 38 million free firearm safety kits including a firearm cable lock through similar events in communities across the country. That includes all 50 states, five U.S. territories, and involving more than 15,000 local law enforcement agencies. Already in 2020, lock giveaway events have occurred in Denver, Colo., San Antonio, Texas, Everett, Wash., and more to name a few.

San Antonio Councilman Manny Palaez spoke at the Texas lock handout and summed up the importance of the free locks, saying, “There should never be an excuse for anyone in San Antonio for not having a lock on your gun.” 

Practice and Training

Buying a gun and leaving it safely stored isn’t a panacea either. After a purchase, owners must become familiar, comfortable and confident in handling their firearm. That comes with practice. During the coronavirus pandemic, NSSF fought to ensure community shooting ranges were deemed essential and that they were largely allowed to remain open. Local law enforcement agencies use shooting ranges for service practice, but every day lawful citizens also use them for training, whether it’s for recreational shooting or state-required training for concealed carry permits. Each opportunity gives gun owners additional firearm familiarity and the confidence to properly handle the gun safely and accurately.

Even in the new normal of social distancing and self-quarantining, new firearm owners can use new tools to familiarize themselves with safe handling. Web tutorials and online videos abound with instructions and lessons for gun handling. Specific programs like Gun University offer additional educational resources for firearm beginners and those with experience alike. Firearm owners looking for more information about educational resources and tutorials on safe handling should keep the NSSF website bookmarked for quick and easy reference.

Industry Efforts Paying Off

The firearm industry knows it’s incumbent upon existing gun owners to welcome newcomers into the community and to encourage first-time buyers to pursue all options available for firearm safety. It’s every gun owner’s responsibility. These safety programs and resources have shown excellent results with 2018 recording the lowest level of unintended firearm fatalities since data was first tracked in 1903.

As millions of new gun owners join the family, encouraging safe practices and safe handling are more important than ever in order to keep those positive numbers moving in the right direction.

National Shooting Sports FoundationAbout The National Shooting Sports Foundation

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms, ammunition, hunting and shooting sports industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 10,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. www.nssf.org

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Ol’ Bill
Ol’ Bill(@navy-bill)
1 year ago

I’m an NRA instructor in northern Kalifornia, and have received MANY calls for instruction, which is good.
What is bad, is that range classrooms are closed!
What I’m doing now, is teaching individuals/families in their backyards.

Get Out
Get Out(@get-out)
1 year ago

IMOA, a trigger lock makes your gun a useless paperweight when needed. A friend had a trigger lock on his gun that used a key to unlock the device because he worried his kids would find it. We were at the LGR when he found out the key wouldn’t open the lock and it couldn’t be taken off. He ended up drilling the lock out to get the device off, he never put a trigger lock on ever again. To this day he wonders what would of happened if he needed it for SD? Get training if you’re new to… Read more »

1 year ago

NSSF assumes the bad guys will wait for you to unlock your home defense weapon. I suppose they’d prefer you’d lock it on your hip, unloaded.


I grow weary of these “sportsmen” worrying about their 12 gauge and duck season while ignoring – if not despising – Constitutional liberties.

Green Mtn. Boy
Green Mtn. Boy(@reen-mtn-boy)
1 year ago

What citizens new to the 2 nd. amendment don’t need is a organization involved with infringing on there rights,such as NSSF and red flag, fix NICS ,bump stock ban .

1 year ago

And here are the first four things for all new gun owners to learn. And they don’t cost anything, nor do they require instructors, training courses, or cost anything at all! 1.) All guns are always loaded. Obviously, this doesn’t mean that a firearm CANNOT be unloaded. It means that one must assume that every gun is loaded, because it SHOULD be! 2.) Never let the muzzle cover anything you are not willing to destroy. 3.) Keep your finger off the trigger until your sights are on target. Over and above the chance of your trigger finger twitching accidentally, the… Read more »