The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project ChildSafe, a national industry-wide program to encourage safe and responsible firearms ownership, has attracted 1,000 manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, ranges, instructors, and conservation groups to join its cause.

Project ChildSafe, started in 1999, distributes the free Project ChildSafe Safety Kit which includes a gun lock and firearms safety education literature. In 2014, nearly 240,000 of these kits were distributed throughout the U.S., and more than 36 million have been distributed since the program began. The milestone of 1,000 supporters is a clear sign of the widespread support that child safety and responsible gun ownership has within the industry.

This milestone is more than a number — it’s further testimony to the commitment on the part of the firearms industry, individual gun owners and the sporting community to make gun safety and personal responsibility a priority, said Steve Sanetti, President and CEO of NSSF. These are all organizations that, collectively, can amplify the messages of Project ChildSafe. We’ve made great progress in helping reduce fatal firearms accidents, which are dropping dramatically and make up only 0.5 percent of all accidental fatalities. Our goal is to further reduce accidents, theft and intentional misuse by preventing unauthorized access to guns.”

A central promotion of Project ChildSafe is the Own it? Respect it. Secure it. initiative which is a reminder to gun owners to store their firearms safely and responsibly to keep them out of the hands of not only children who may accidentally create tragedy but also those who would use the guns for criminal violence.

Proper storage is the number one way to prevent firearm accidents, Sanetti said. The more we can get this message out, the more we will continue to see firearms accidents and misuse decrease. With these tremendous supporters on board, and more joining every day, the more Project ChildSafe will succeed in this mission.

In addition to the industry partners, 15,000 law enforcement agencies have partnered with the NSSF to help further the cause and distribute materials.

Until 2008, federal grants helped fund Project ChildSafe. Those grants were eliminated, but the firearms industry and donations have kept the program running since that time.