Texas Parks & Wildlife Magazine   


TPWD Gives Away Gun Locks

A national program is working to keep children safe.

By Steve Lightfoot

As part of a nationwide firearms safety initiative called Project ChildSafe, the Texas Parks and Wildlife Department is giving away 80,000 gun safety locks to hunters.

“We’re issuing a free gun lock to each student who takes hunter education,” said Terry Erwin, TPWD hunter education coordinator and president-elect of the International Hunter Education Association. “We have already distributed 40,000 locks to staff and instructors, and currently have 40,000 more locks to move.”

TPWD will also make the gun locks available to hunters during the department’s special drawing hunts on state parks and wildlife management areas this fall, and game wardens will be handing out locks to hunters during routine checks in the field.

Project ChildSafe is a nationwide program that promotes safe firearms handling and storage practices through the distribution of key safety messages and free gun locking devices. It is is an expansion of the Project HomeSafe program developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF). It is supported by a U.S. Department of Justice grant and is a component of Project Safe Neighborhoods, the nationwide commitment to reduce gun crime to create safer neighborhoods. DOJ selected NSSF to administer Project ChildSafe based on its experience in operating Project HomeSafe. NSSF also provides funding to Project ChildSafe.

NSSF, with more than 2,500 members, is the shooting sports industry’s largest and most diverse trade association. Formed in 1961, NSSF manages a variety of outreach programs with a special emphasis on efforts to promote firearm safety education to all gun owners.

Project ChildSafe partners with governors, lieutenant governors, U.S. attorneys, community leaders and law enforcement officials to distribute free safety kits to gun owners in all states in order to promote safe storage of firearms in the home.

In addition to TPWD efforts to distribute the free gun locks, 403 police departments and 88 sheriff’s offices in Texas are also participating in the program. More than 15 million free gun safety kits have been distributed in all 50 states during the past year.

More information about Project ChildSafe, including a list of law enforcement agencies where you can pick up a free gun lock kit, is available online at http://www.projectchildsafe.org/tours.cfm. Information about Texas’ public hunting program and hunter education courses is also available on the Internet at http://www.tpwd.state.tx.us.

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