The Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program, NRA’s groundbreaking gun accident prevention course for children, has achieved another milestone by reaching its 26 millionth child.
Created in 1988 by past NRA President Marion P. Hammer, in consultation with elementary school teachers, law enforcement officers, and child psychologists, the program provides pre-K through third grade children with simple, effective rules to follow should they encounter a firearm in an unsupervised setting: “If you see a gun: STOP! Don’t Touch. Leave the Area. Tell an Adult.”
“The Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program has received thousands of stories from parents and teachers demonstrating how tragedies were avoided thanks to our program,” said Kyle Weaver, NRA Executive of General Operations. “Firearm-related accidents among young children have been on a steady decline since NRA launched the Eddie Eagle program. It’s a testament to NRA’s commitment to child safety and Eddie’s life saving message.”
Volunteers for the Eddie Eagle program might come from diverse backgrounds, but they share a commitment to protecting children from gun accidents. Those involved include teachers, NRA members, law enforcement officers, and community activists who teach the program, as well as private donors and Friends of NRA volunteers who raise funds to pay for the program’s educational materials.
More than 26,000 educators, law enforcement agencies, and civic organizations have taught the program since 1988.
“The message is simple, easy to remember and fun for kids to learn,” said National Community Outreach Department Manager Eric Lipp.
Law enforcement’s partnership with Eddie Eagle has proven to be very effective. In fact, more than 350 Eddie Eagle mascot costumes are in use by law enforcement officers across the county. NRA also offers free Eddie Eagle materials to any law enforcement agency, hospital, or educational facility across the nation. To receive these free materials, or to purchase an Eddie Eagle costume, please contact the Eddie Eagle Department at (800) 231-0752.
The Eddie Eagle program has been praised by numerous groups and elected officials, including the Association of American Educators, the Youth Activities Division of the National Safety Council, the National Sheriffs’ Association, the U.S. Department of Justice (through its Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency), and 26 state governors.
Funds raised through Friends of NRA and distributed through The NRA Foundation (www.nrafoundation.org) 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, or persons who wish to see if free materials are available in their communities, should call the Eddie Eagle Department at (800) 231-0752 or visit eddieeagle.nra.org.
Image courtesy National Rifle Association (NRA)