By Tamas Mondovics

Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office (HCSO)  has recently joined forces with Project ChildSafe, a nationwide nonprofit organization promoting firearms safety and education about handling and storage practices among all firearm owners through the distribution of safety education messages and free firearm Safety Kits.

“The Sheriff’s priority is to address violent crimes and gangs, as they sensationalize guns and gun violence,”  said HCSO spokesperson Larry McKinnon. “Parents are required to keep guns safely away from kids and this program is just another way to promote gun safety.

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 five U.S. territories.

McKinnon said that the kits include a cable-style gun-locking device and a brochure (also available in Spanish) that discusses safe handling and storage, which can be picked up after calling the Sheriff’s Office Community Outreach at 247-8115.

In a recent press release the Sheriff’s Office emphasized that the program’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.

“Residents are encouraged to join Project ChildSafe in promoting safe firearm handling and storage education,” McKinnon said. “We hope to see as many residents as possible demonstrate responsibility by become a partner today.”

Project ChildSafe was developed and is sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the trade association for the firearms and ammunition industry.

Since 1961, the NSSF has striven to promote firearm safety education across the United States through a variety of outreach programs.

The NSSF has more than 8,000 members, including manufacturers, distributors, firearms retailers, shooting ranges, sportsmen’s organizations and publishers.

The organization has applied for federal tax exemption as a 501(c)(3) public charity and if this designation is granted, then contributions to the organization will be deductible for federal income tax purposes.

For more information about the program and to receive the kits please visit

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