|The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program, NRA's groundbreaking gun accident prevention program for children in pre-K through the third grades, has achieved a new milestone, reaching 18 million children in all 50 states, Canada, and Puerto Rico.|
Created by past NRA President Marion P. Hammer, in consultation with child psychologists, elementary schoolteachers, and law enforcement officers, the program gives children a simple, effective action to take should they encounter a firearm in an unsupervised situation: "If you see a gun, STOP! Don't Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult."
Over the years, the program has been praised by numerous groups and elected officials, including the National Safety Council, the U.S. Department of Justice, and 24 state governors. When the program was formally endorsed by the National Sheriffs' Association in 2002, Sheriff John Cary Bittick, president of the group at the time, said, "We are proud to partner with the National Rifle Association on this very important issue, and we would like to express our full support for this program. The safety of our nation's children is of paramount concern and I can think of no better way to provide them with knowledge about firearm safety than through the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program. This program, which has proven to be most effective, simply teaches children not to touch firearms and to tell adults immediately if they should come into contact with a firearm of any kind."
NRA also regularly receives letters from parents whose children have encountered a firearm, but, because of what they learned in Eddie Eagle, avoided accidents. In fact, fatal firearm accidents in the Eddie Eagle age group have been reduced more than two-thirds since the inception of the program, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. NRA feels that gun accident prevention programs such as Eddie Eagle are a significant factor in that decline.
Commenting on the program she created, past NRA President Marion P. Hammer said, "The NRA is committed to helping keep America's children safe. This program also instills in our youth the important values of leadership, discipline, and personal responsibility that will help our children throughout their lives. It is imperative that all parents be responsible for teaching good judgment and gun safety to their children," said Ms. Hammer.
Funds raised through Friends of NRA, and distributed through The NRA Foundation, enable budget-strapped schools and police departments to teach the program at minimal or no cost. The NRA encourages citizens nationwide to participate in heightening gun accident prevention awareness within their local communities. Schools, law enforcement agencies, civic groups, and others interested in more information about The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program should call the Eddie Eagle® Department at (800) 231-0752 or visit the website at www.nrahq.org/safety/eddie.