Group protests DOJ’s $2.4 million grant for pro-gun safety project

The gun control group Coalition to Stop Gun Violence launched a petition aiming to cancel a $2.4 million grant awarded on Sept. 10 by the Justice Department to fund a free gun lock program by the gun industry lobby.

“While few would oppose the use of gun locks to secure firearms or the dissemination of information on gun safety, the partnership between DOJ and (National Shooting Sports Foundation) is nonetheless deeply troubling,” the CSGV said in its petition. And argued that it should be canceled because the “NSSF has actively lobbied for policies that put children at direct risk of obtaining unsecured firearms.”

The group attacked the NSSF, which lobbies for gun makers and retailers, for policies it opposes and supports. CSGV said the NSSF opposes gun storage legislation and laws that would hold adults criminally responsible if children gain unauthorized access to their firearms, but supports laws that would deny lawsuits against gun manufacturers for negligence and lowering the age to buy firearms and carry them in public.

“It’s difficult to understand why the Obama administration would possibly want to bankroll a radical lobby that has accused it of being ‘willing to try virtually anything to pursue its gun control agenda in defiance of Congress and existing law,’” CSGV said. “Whatever good might be done by Project ChildSafe is vastly outweighed by the harm NSSF does in lobbying for reckless gun laws. No taxpayer in America should have to foot the bill for a profit-focused lobby looking to improve its public image.”

In response, the NSSF dismissed claims that Project ChildSafe is a ruse.

“It is unfortunate, but not surprising, that certain fringe anti-gun groups that have no firearm safety programs of their own would try to politicize the largest firearm safety education program in America and make false claims about that program,” said Larry Keane, the NSSF’s general counsel, to Guns.com in an email.

He also brought attention to the program’s successes, saying more than 37 million kits have been distributed in all 50 states and five U.S. territories. He also credited the efforts for reducing gun accidents.

“Through efforts like PCS and other programs like the NRA’s Eddie the Eagle program, firearm accidents continue to decline to the lowest level since record keeping began over a century ago,” he said.