NSSF’s Project ChildSafe Names Two Dallas-Area Residents ‘Local Champions’ in Firearm Safety
DALLAS, Texas and GRAND PRAIRIE, Texas — The National Shooting Sports Foundation® (NSSF®) has recognized Judy Rhodes, Founder of DIVA Women Outdoors Worldwide (DIVA WOW) in Dallas, and the “Shoot Smart” team of Jared Sloane and Cassie Shockey as “Local Champions” for their efforts to promote firearm safety in the region. The recognition comes as NSSF launches its fourth annual Project ChildSafe S.A.F.E. Summer campaign to emphasize the importance of responsible firearm storage — particularly while children are home from school and more likely to be unattended.
Rhodes was selected for her efforts to encourage safe and responsible ownership of firearms for women and youth, including secure firearm storage to reduce accidents and access by unauthorized individuals.
“Distributing thousands of gun locks at events and promoting responsible gun ownership and education of firearm handling and storage is our mantra,” says Rhodes. “Proper firearm storage is the number one way to help prevent firearm accidents, theft and misuse.”
Shoot Smart, with locations in Grand Prairie and Fort Worth, was selected for increasing firearm safety awareness and preventing accidents within the community through multiple campaigns, including law enforcement partnerships, public educational presentations, and implementation of the local “Own It? Protect It. Secure It.” pledge which gained hundreds of supporters.
“If we can keep just one kid from accidently accessing and discharging a firearm, we’ve succeeded. There are too many accounts of kids getting hurt or killed because they found a gun and played with it,” says Sloane. “We cannot teach or train the curiosity out of children (nor should we), so we have to take other measures to raise gun safety awareness and to make sure guns are locked and safe when not in use. Project ChildSafe was created to help provide firearm safety to the community and those the industry serves — it’s our job to take the ball and run with it.”
S.A.F.E. Summer is an extension of NSSF’s Project ChildSafe campaign. Consistent with Project ChildSafe’s overarching message of “Own It? Respect It. Secure It,” the S.A.F.E. Summer effort is a reminder that proper firearm storage is the #1 way to help prevent firearm accidents, theft and misuse.
“S.A.F.E.” serves as an acronym for Store your firearms responsibly when not in use; Be Aware of those around you who should not have unauthorized access to guns; Focus on your responsibility as a firearm owner and Educate yourself and others about safe firearm handling and storage. The effort is focused on providing resources to help gun owners take actions and share information that will help keep their families and communities safer.
“As a result of the amazing Project ChildSafe program, our organization has given away more gun locks than any organization or individual in our great state of Texas. We are proudly known as ‘Gun lock DIVAS’,” Rhodes says.
“We’re very grateful for the work of Shoot Smart and DIVA Women Outdoors Worldwide,” said NSSF President and CEO Steve Sanetti. “They are great examples of how the firearms-owning community is committed to safety and personal responsibility, and their work is instrumental in helping reduce firearm accidents.”
NSSF launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (prior to 2003 the program was called Project HomeSafe) as a nationwide initiative to promote firearms responsibility and provide safety education to all gun owners. While children are a focus, Project ChildSafe is intended to help young people and adults practice greater firearm safety as well. Through partnerships with more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies, the program has provided more than 37 million free firearm safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and the five U.S. territories. That’s in addition to the more than 70 million free locking devices manufacturers have included with new firearms sold since 1998 and continue to do today.
About Project ChildSafe
NSSF, the trade association of the firearms industry, launched Project ChildSafe in 1999 (prior to 2003 the program was called Project HomeSafe) as a nationwide initiative to promote firearms responsibility and provide safety education to gun owners. Since 1999, the program has provided more than 37 million free firearm safety kits that include a gun lock to gun owners in all 50 states and five U.S. territories. That’s in addition to the more than 70 million free locking devices manufacturers have included, and continue to include, with new firearms sold since 1998. Project ChildSafe is a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt nonprofit charitable organization. All donations to the organization are tax deductible to the extent allowed by law. More information is available at projectchildsafe.org.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation is the trade association for the firearms industry. Its mission is to promote, protect and preserve hunting and the shooting sports. Formed in 1961, NSSF has a membership of more than 13,000 manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers. For more information, visit www.nssf.org.