January 1, 2021
5 Ways the Firearm Industry is Helping to Keep Guns Out of the Wrong Hands
The firearm industry leads the way in providing real solutions to make communities safe by helping to keep guns out of the wrong hands. NSSF’s top 5 gun-safety programs are initiatives all Americans should know about for two important reasons. First, these firearm industry initiatives help to save lives and prevent crime, and second, they help to provide resources to individual gun owners they can use to keep themselves and loved ones safe from misuse of their firearms.
Millions of Americans purchased their first firearm during the pandemic year of 2020, mainly for reasons of protecting themselves and their loved ones during these unsettled times. The firearm industry is working hard to reach these new gun owners with education on how to safely handle and securely store their guns at home and in their vehicles, and to help them determine the locking device best suited to their lifestyle. In addition to distributing nearly 40 million free gun locks nationwide, NSSF’s Project ChildSafe offers a wide range of gun safety resources for all gun owners.
A recent news report focused on a city witnessing an increase in teenagers dealing with mental health challenges and incidents of self-harm due to the pandemic. America’s firearm industry is working to help. Through NSSF, the industry provides a valuable resource, designed with experts on suicide prevention, to help parents better understand youth mental health and how to prevent unauthorized access to firearms. The recently released “A Guide for Parents: Understanding Youth Mental Health and Preventing Unauthorized Access to Firearms” can be accessed here.
These are desperate times for many, to be sure, and a person prohibited from owning a firearm because of a criminal record or other disqualifying reason might convince a friend to buy a gun for him—that is, until the friend sees a firearm industry warning in a gun store or on a billboard about the serious fines and prison time awaiting someone convicted of committing an illegal straw purchase. Learn more about the industry’s Don’t Lie for the Other Guy.
The National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) is designed to flag prohibited persons so they can’t purchase a gun at retail, but the system is only as good as the records put into it. Because some states weren’t submitting all their disqualifying records, individuals who should have been prevented from purchasing a firearm were not being identified, with tragic consequences in some cases. Firearm industry efforts at state and federal levels have led to millions of new records of prohibited persons being added to NICS, so the system can work as intended. Through FixNICS, the industry is working to keep firearms out of the hands of people prohibited by law from possessing them.
Thefts of guns are a problem, and thieves have become more brazen with their smash-and-grab attempts at gun stores. But those firearm retailers that take advantage of the industry’s guidance on identifying and addressing their vulnerabilities are well-prepared to protect their inventories and thwart aggressive attempts to steal guns. Learn more about NSSF’s Operation Secure Store.