Cabela's Outdoor Fund gives $50,000 to NSSF Project ChildSafe

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Cabela’s Outdoor Fund gave $50,000 to NSSF’s Porject ChildSafe. (Photo: Dale Spark/AP Photo)

Thanks to a $50,000 grant from Cabela’s Outdoor Fund, state Departments of Natural Resources will receive free gun locks.

The donation allows the National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project ChildSafe to distribute the locks and safety brochures to state agencies in hopes officials will share safe storage practices at hunter education classes.

“NSSF is extremely grateful for this Cabela’s Outdoor Fund grant that allows Project ChildSafe to continue providing gun locks and firearm safety education materials to state agencies,” said Bill Brassard, NSSF’s senior director of communications. “Thanks to Project ChildSafe and other genuine firearm safety programs, fatal firearms accidents have declined to historic low levels.”

The National Safety Council’s Injury Facts 2017 attributed 489 deaths to accidental firearm discharges in 2015 — the lowest in the council’s 114-year history of injury record-keeping. At least 77 children and teens died in accidental shootings in 2015, according to the Centers for Disease Control. Officials admit the figure could be higher, given the differences in how coroners classify “accidental” deaths.

Cabela’s Outdoor Fund collects money for conservation projects and programs supporting outdoor recreation through customer donations. So far, the fund has donated more than $10 million to “like-minded” organizations, including a prior grant to NSSF’s Project ChildSafe.

A government study published in October concluded safe storage programs sometimes work — and sometimes make no difference — when it comes to preventing gun-related injuries and deaths.

The Government Office of Accountability studied 16 different nonprofit or publicly-funded safe storage programs — including  Project ChildSafe, Bulletproof Kids and the New Hampshire Firearm Safety Coalition — as well as a compilation of research regarding effectiveness of some of these initiatives at the request of congressional Democrats on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee.

The agency says in its 51-page report research regarding these programs is scarce, but the few data sets available suggest programs that hand out free locking devices appear to encourage safer storage practices among gun owners.

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