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. "
"Eddie Eagle GunSafe has received so many stories from parents and teachers telling us how tragedies were avoided thanks to the program, " said Kyle Weaver, NRA Executive Director of General Operations. "Firearm-related accidents among young children have been on a steady decline since the NRA launched the Eddie Eagle program. It's a testament to the NRA's commitment to child safety and Eddie's lifesaving message."
The NRA encourages citizens nationwide to join the more than 26,000 educators, law enforcement agencies, and civic organizations heightening gun accident prevention awareness in their communities through Eddie Eagle GunSafe. Program materials are free for any law enforcement agency, educational facility, hospital, or library in the United States. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, incidental firearm-related deaths among children in Eddie Eagle GunSafe's target age group have declined more than 80% since the program began.
"The message is simple, easy to remember and fun for kids to learn, " said National Community Outreach Department Manager Eric Lipp.
The Eddie Eagle GunSafe 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's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency, and 26 state governors.
Eddie Eagle's message is enhanced through mascot costumes made available exclusively to law enforcement agencies. The program recently reached a second milestone by distributing its 400th costume, received by the Lebanon Police Department in Lebanon, Tennessee, who plans to work with local schools to reach more than 3,200 children. Agencies interested in purchasing an Eddie Eagle costume are eligible to receive funding assistance through NRA Foundation grants.
Visit http://eddieeagle.nra.org or call (800) 231-0752 for information on the Eddie Eagle GunSafe Program and to request free teaching materials.