The firearms industry is committed to the safe, legal, and responsible ownership and use of firearms, and works on a daily basis to stop their criminal misuse. As an industry we take seriously our responsibility to be a leading voice in the national conversation, to promote responsible actions among legal gun owners, to help prevent accidents and to help keep guns out of the wrong hands. All of those actions make our homes, neighborhoods and communities safer.
We share the concerns of all Americans, and we are working toward real solutions that help create safer communities. We are proud of our history of leadership in creating real solutions. We are taking action, and the firearms industry has developed genuine solutions that protect our communities while respecting the legal rights of gun owners.
No one wants to stop the criminal and tragic misuse of our products more than we do.That’s why the firearms industry has led with initiatives to improve security at retail stores and prevent thefts, strengthen the background check system, deter illegal purchases and promote secure storage to help prevent accidents, thefts and misuse.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation® launched its REAL SOLUTIONSSM initiatives to promote responsible actions among lawful gun owners, promote firearms safety and responsibility, promote proper and responsible use, storage and ownership of firearms and to reduce criminal access to and misuse of firearms and firearms accidents. The REAL SOLUTIONS. SAFER COMMUNITIES.SM program was launched to educate the public about these initiatives.
Free Gun Locks distributed by the firearms industry in the past 20 years.
Gun deaths in the US today are suicides; it’s a national problem that the firearms industry is addressing at the local level with retailers and the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
Now have better background check laws thanks to the firearms industry’s efforts.
The decrease in crimes involving guns, not including homicides, between 1993 and 2017, respectively.
The number of radio, outdoor and digital ads placed in six US Cities between 2017 and 2018 to help prevent illegal
“straw sales” of firearms.
The increase in the number of disqualifying records submitted to the background check system since NSSF launched FixNICS in 2013.
One example of a gun regulation in place that actually needs better enforcement actually goes back to 1968 – the Gun Control Act itself, which created the categories of persons who are disqualified from gun ownership. Those prohibitions are implemented through the National Instant Criminal Background Check system (NICS), and the database upon which it relies is inadequate as a result of states not submitting the necessary records to the database. This is the reason why the gun industry is leading the charge to Fix NICS and reduce criminal violence.
We also strenuously support the law against “straw sales,” which occur when people who can legally buy guns do so for those who can’t. These crimes come with a 10-year jail sentence and a $250,000 fine. We implemented our “Don’t Lie for the Other Guy” program nearly 20 years ago in partnership with the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms to provide public and retailer education to help prevent these sales.
According to the FBI’s Uniform Crime Reporting statistics, homicides with firearms decreased 24 percent between 1991 and 2017, and Department of Justice data show other crimes with firearms decreased 70 percent between 1993 and 2017. What makes this even more noteworthy is that these decreases took place even as gun sales more than quintupled in the same time period.
We’ve been working at the federal level and with state governments across the country to improve the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (known as “NICS”). One of the biggest challenges to the NICS system has been the lack of adequate records and information to prevent gun sales to criminals or people with disqualifying mental health issues who cannot legally buy guns.
Getting more records in the system makes a difference and can help prevent tragedies. For example, had full records been in the system, the shooters involved in The Washington Navy Yard, Sutherland Springs, Texas and Virginia Tech tragedies would have been flagged and not been able to purchase a firearm. Our “FixNICS” efforts so far have helped strengthen background check laws in 16 states, generated a 241 percent increase in the number of disqualifying mental health records in the system, and elements of the program we created for the improvement of background checks are now federal law.
According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, suicides account for nearly two-thirds of the gun deaths in America, representing 22,018 of the total 35,486 firearm-related deaths in 2015. There are many factors involved in suicide and suicide prevention, but the firearms industry wants to help educate our members on how they can help, and so we’re working closely with the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention and retailers across the country to take steps that will help keep guns away from people who may be at risk.
In 2018, Project ChildSafe was recognized as one of three finalists for the National Safety Council’s 2018 Green Cross Award for Excellence in Safety. The program is supported by the U.S. Department of Justice.