Project Child Safe

About the Project


Project Child Safe is a nationwide program that promotes safe firearms handling and storage practices among all firearm owners through the distribution of safety education messages and free firearms safety kits. The kits include a cable-style gun-locking device and a brochure that discusses safe handling and storage. Since 2003, the Project has partnered with local law enforcement agencies to distribute more than 36 million safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and 5 U.S. territories.  The Suffolk Sheriff Office has distributed over 6,000 gun Safety Kits since 2014.

Project Child Safe's success is attributable to law enforcement, elected officials, community leaders, state agencies, businesses, the firearms industry and individuals who have worked to help raise awareness about the importance of securely storing firearms in the home. For more information, view the gun lock brochure (PDF).

Remember, your most important responsibility of a gun owner is to ensure that unsupervised children and unauthorized adults cannot encounter a loaded firearm in your home that is not been safely and securely stored. The precautions you take MUST be completely effective. Anything less will invite tragedy.

Key Guidelines for Safe Storage

  • Ammunition should be stored in a locked location separate from firearms.
  • Gun locking devices render firearms inoperable and can be used in addition to locked storage.
  • Thoroughly double check firearms to confirm that they are unloaded.
  • Unloaded firearms should be stored in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case.

Cable-Style Gun Locks

Cable-style locks, like those in the Project Child Safe Safety Kit, should be used in addition to-not as a substitute for-safe firearms handling and storage methods. The lock is intended to discourage unauthorized access to a firearm, particularly by young children, but should not be considered a high-security device. Reference the Project Child Safe safety brochure from the kit for more information about properly installing the Project Child Safe gun lock on various firearm types, safe handling and storage.

Safety Procedures

Firearms safety begins with understanding and carefully following the rules of safe gun handling. Before handling any firearm, familiarize yourself with these safety procedures:

  • Know how the firearm operates-including safely opening and closing the action of the firearm, and removing ammunition from the gun or its magazine. For Free safety and operation instructions write to the manufacturer or visit its website.
  • Always keep a gun pointed in safe direction, even when handling an unloaded gun-so that if it were to fire it would not result in injury.
  • Never assume that a firearm is unloaded. Immediately open the action and look into the chambers for ammunition, of if the gun has a magazine, carefully remove it before opening the action.
  • Always keep your finger off the trigger, even when handling an unloaded gun. Your finger should rest outside the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. The only time you should touch the trigger is when you are ready to safely fire. Remember, nearly all firearms accidents in the home can be prevented simply by making sure that guns are kept unloaded and locked up, with ammunition secured in a separate location.

A Message for Your Children


Children and adolescents are naturally curious about firearms and, as a result, may be tempted to "play" with a firearm they find. Make sure young people in your home are aware of and understand these safety guidelines:
  • Don't go snooping, or allow other kids to go snooping, for guns in the house.
  • If you find a gun in your house, or anywhere else, stop! Do not touch it or allow anyone else to. Leave the area and be sure to immediately tell an adult.
  • Even if a gun looks like a toy, don't touch it. Some real guns look like toy guns, so don't take a chance. Leave the area and immediately tell an adult.