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Imagine a Future Free from Gun Violence

Tell DOJ: Cancel $2.4 Million Grant to Gun Lobby Group

Gun Debate Tradeshow

Vendor at trade show hosted by NSSF just one month after the Sandy Hook massacre.

Update: On December 10, 2015, MomsRising and 22 gun violence prevention groups including the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence delivered more than 28,000 petition signatures to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) calling on them to terminate their grant to the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The signatures were hand-delivered to Wyn Hornbuckle with DOJ’s Office of Public Affairs.
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Joint Petition from Newtown Action Alliance, Connecticut Against Gun Violence, Northwest Corner Committee for Gun Violence Prevention, Greenwich Council Against Gun Violence, Nebraskans Against Gun Violence, New Yorkers Against Gun Violence, North Carolinians Against Gun Violence, Ohio Coalition Against Gun Violence, Rhode Island Coalition Against Gun Violence, Utah Parents Against Gun Violence, Colorado Ceasefire Capitol Fund, Bergen County Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence, Wisconsin Anti-Violence Effort, Gun Violence Prevention Center of Utah, Stop Handgun Violence, Women Against Gun Violence, Joint Action Committee for Political Affairs, Michigan Coalition to Prevent Gun Violence Safe Tennessee Project, Delaware Coalition Against Gun Violence, New Mexicans to Prevent Gun Violence, and the Coalition to Stop Gun Violence:

On September 10, 2015, the Newtown, Connecticut-based National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) announced that it had been awarded a two-year, $2.4 million grant by the U.S. Department of Justice for its Project ChildSafe program.The funds will go toward buying kits (containing a cable-style gun lock and safety brochure) which NSSF distributes to law enforcement agencies around the country.2 Law enforcement typically provides these kits to gun owners at their request.

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 NSSF is nonetheless deeply troubling. Since the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary—which claimed the lives of 20 children and 6 adults in NSSF’s own community—the organization has opposed any and all attempts to strengthen U.S. gun laws to prevent future tragedies. Instead, NSSF has actively lobbied for policies that put children at direct risk of obtaining unsecured firearms. Specifically, NSSF:

  • Opposes all legislation that would require parents to safely store firearms in the home in the manner described in their Project ChildSafe Safety Kit brochure.
  • Opposes Child Access Prevention laws to hold adults criminally responsible when children gain unauthorized access to their firearms.
  • Supports unprecedented legal immunity for the gun industry, which prevents parents (and others) from bringing lawsuits against the industry when they market and/or distribute their products in a negligent manner.
  • Supports lowering the age at which Americans can purchase firearms and carry them in public.

Furthermore, Project ChildSafe has been beset with problems from the start.  After hundreds of thousands of its gun locks were recalled for being too fragile and flimsy, NSSF lost federal funding for the program in 2009. Obliged to fund Project ChildSafe on its own, NSSF scaled the program back significantly.3

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.” 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.

Tell the Department of Justice: Cancel your $2.4 million grant to NSSF and find a better partner for gun violence prevention.

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  1. Press Release, “DOJ Awards $2.4 Million Grant to NSSF’s Project Childsafe,” National Shooting Sports Foundation, September 10, 2015
  2. Project ChildSafe Brochure, http://www.projectchildsafe.org/sites/default/files/PCSBrochure_Adstar.pdf
  3. Matt Valentine, “The Gun Lobbying Group You Don’t Hear About,” The Atlantic, September 12, 2013.
  4. Government Relations Update, “Ammo Ban Plan Energizes Congress and Public,” National Shooting Sports Foundation, March 6, 2015

U.S. Department of Justice:

I cannot understand why you have awarded the Newtown-based National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) with a grant of $2.4 million to pursue a gun safety initiative, given the fact that NSSF continues to lobby against any and all reforms that would prevent children from gaining unauthorized access to firearms. Please cancel the grant and find a more suitable partner for your gun violence prevention efforts.
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