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Frequently Asked Questions About Eddie Eagle

Here, you’ll find answers to all your questions about the program, animated video, teaching tools and more. If you don’t see the answer to your question below, please contact the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program by phone at 1-800-231-0752 or email at eddie@nrahq.org.

General FAQs

What is the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program?

The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program is a gun accident prevention program for children in pre-kindergarten through fourth grade. The main teaching tool for the program is a video, newly released in April 2015, featuring Eddie Eagle and the Wing Team. Eddie and his friends teach children that if they ever come across a gun in an unsupervised situation, they need to STOP! Don’t touch. Run away. Tell a grown-up.

How was the program created?

In 1988, past NRA President Marion P. Hammer spearheaded the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program with a task force made up of educators, school administrators, curriculum specialists, urban housing safety officials, clinical psychologist, law enforcement officials and National Rifle Association firearm safety experts. Since then, it has reached more than 28 million children in all 50 states, Canada and Puerto Rico.

In 2015, the NRA introduced a brand new Eddie Eagle and his friends, the Wing Team. The updated program includes a new animated video, parent and teacher curriculum guides, a kid-friendly website and more. While Eddie’s look has changed, his mission to keep children safe from accidents involving firearms remains constant.

Does Eddie Eagle promote firearm ownership or use?

No! The program neither offers nor asks for any value judgment concerning firearms. Like safety lessons about swimming pools, electrical outlets and matchbooks, Eddie Eagle’s sole purpose is to give children crucial information about what to do if they ever come across a gun. With firearms found in about half of all American households, it’s a message that makes sense. Eddie is never pictured holding or even touching a gun.

What resources are available?

Children can explore Eddie Eagle’s Tree House, a kid-friendly website with games, sing-alongs, storybooks and more. Visit www.eddieeagle.com to learn more. Curriculum guides are also available in both parent and teacher formats to aid in the teaching process.

Who can teach the program?

The NRA welcomes anyone interested in keeping children safe to answer the call and share Eddie’s message. No formal certification is required. 

Are volunteer opportunities available?

Yes! Volunteers serve as Eddie Eagle Representatives in their communities. They receive a volunteer handbook, are eligible for free Eddie Eagle materials and receive new issues of the Eagle Eye Newsletter. If you’re interested in becoming a volunteer, please email us at eddie@nrahq.org or call 1-800-231-0752 for an application.

Do I have to be an NRA member to participate?

No. The NRA hopes you will appreciate and share Eddie’s important message whether you’re a member or not. If you are interested in becoming a member of the NRA, visit join.nra.org

Parents FAQs

How Do I Talk to My Child About Guns?

While there is no specific age to talk with your child about gun safety, a good time to introduce the subject is when he or she shows an interest in firearms. The interest can come from family members, friends, toy guns, video games or television shows and movies. Talking openly and honestly about gun safety with your child is usually more effective than just ordering him or her to “Stay out of the gun closet,” and leaving it at that. Such a statement may just stimulate a child’s natural curiosity to investigate further.

Instead talk with them by asking opened ended questions. After having a broad discussion on safety, discuss firearm safety, the rules for firearms and what your child should do when they see a gun in an unsupervised situation. As with any safety lesson, explaining the rules and answering a child’s questions can help remove the mystery surrounding guns. Any rules you set for your own child should also apply to family members and friends who visit the home. This will keep your child from being pressured into showing a gun to visitors.

Why is it Important to Discuss Pretend vs. Real Life With My Child?

Children often see characters shot and “killed” with well-documented frequency on TV and in movies. When that child sees the same actor appear in next week’s episode, or another movie or TV show, confusion between entertainment and real life may result. In many video games, players actively shoot other characters with no personal consequences. The player can simply hit the reset button to bring themselves and other characters back to life. Do not assume that your child knows the difference between being “killed” on TV or in a video game and the reality of gun violence.

Having toy guns in the house is a decision each parent should make. If your child has toy guns, you may want to use them to explain how they differ from genuine firearms. Make sure to tell them to never assume a gun they see or find is a toy.

How Often Should I Teach My Child About Gun Safety?

Isolated lessons and concepts can be quickly forgotten, repetition will help children remember standard safety procedures. Quiz your child regularly. Praise her if she knows the proper way to respond and correct her if she does not. In addition to the Eddie Eagle video, the program also includes an activities for kids booklet and other activities that can be found on Eddieeagle.com. It is a great way to give your child repetition to the important safety message.

What age should I introduce Eddie Eagle to my child?

That’s up to you as a parent. Every child is different, and only you know yours best. The NRA suggests talking to your child about gun safety as soon as you think he or she is able to really comprehend the message. The target age group for this program is Pre-K through fourth grade.

What Questions Should I Ask Other Parents About Gun Safety?

Some parents may want to consider gun safety on the check list of rules you run through when your child goes over to a new house, much like pool safety or food allergies. You should be comfortable with the environment where you are sending your kids however, the topic of firearms can be a delicate situation. When and how to bring up the topic is up to you, but we encourage you to be open and honest. The safety of your child depends on it. Whether you own a firearm or not, ask the questions and answer honestly.

What are Gun Owners’ Responsibilities?

Most states impose some form of legal duty on adults to take reasonable steps to deny access by children to dangerous substances or instruments. It is the individual gun owner’s responsibility to understand and follow all federal and state laws regarding gun purchase, ownership, storage, transport, etc. Contact your state police and/or local law enforcement agency for information specific to your state.

It is the parent’s responsibility to ensure that guns are stored safely. NRA’s longstanding rule of gun storage is to store your guns so that they are inaccessible to any unauthorized users, especially your children and the children that visit your home. Gun shops sell a wide variety of safes, cases, and other security devices. While specific security measure may vary, a parent must, in every case, assess the exposure of the firearm and absolutely ensure that it is inaccessible to a child.

Have there been any evaluations of the Program’s impact in published/unpublished literature? If not, how do you measure its impact?

One study published in the Journal of Emergency Nursing Online (October 2001) named the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program the best of 80 gun accident prevention programs evaluated. Beyond that, the effectiveness of the Program is evident in several ways. First, fatal firearms accidents in the Eddie Eagle age group have been reduced by more than 80 percent since the program’s nationwide launch, 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. Second, we often receive letters from parents whose children have encountered guns in unsupervised situations and avoided an accident by doing exactly what Eddie Eagle had taught them: “STOP! Don’t touch. Run away. Tell a grown-up.” Third, the Program has been honored or endorsed by groups such as the National Sheriffs’ Association, the U.S. Department of Justice (through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention), and the Association of American Educators. The Program also received bipartisan support from 26 state governors, as well as resolutions from 23 state legislatures, recommending the use of the Eddie Eagle Program. Finally, the fact that 26,000 school teachers and law enforcement officers have taught the Program to over 28 million children verifies the popularity of the Program with those who deal with child safety issues every day.

Does Eddie Eagle promote firearm ownership or use?

No! The Program neither offers nor asks for any value judgment concerning firearms. Like safety lessons about swimming pools, electrical outlets and matchbooks, Eddie Eagle’s sole purpose is to give children crucial information about what to do if they ever come across a gun. With firearms found in about half of all American households, it’s a message that makes sense. Eddie is never pictured holding or even touching a gun.

How do I get the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program in my child’s school?

Thank you for wanting to share this important message! The best way to get school administrators to adopt the Program is to let them know it’s important to you! The NRA thanks you for your help in spreading the word about Eddie and his important message.

My child is older than the recommended age for Eddie Eagle, but I am still interested in educating him or her about firearms. Does the NRA offer any programs for older children?

The NRA offers a variety of programs for youth of all ages. Visit the Youth Programs page to learn more.

Instructor FAQs

How do I get Eddie Eagle in my school?

Let your school administrators know! The Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program is a worthwhile use of educators’ time whether you have five minutes or several days to cover the material. It’s about safety, and it’s important.

Who created the curriculum guides?

Dr. Lisa Monroe of the University of Oklahoma, who specializes in early childhood curriculums, crafted these guides to meet both student and teachers’ needs. Lisa explains her reasoning behind the guides and makes a case for why Eddie Eagle should be taught in schools in several video testimonials. You can watch them here.

How long does it take to teach the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program?

You can adapt the Program to meet your needs. Use all or only parts of the program to fit your schedule and your group of students.

Have there been any evaluations of the Program’s impact in published/unpublished literature. If not, how do you measure its impact?

One study published in the Journal of Emergency Nursing Online (October 2001) named the Eddie Eagle GunSafe® program the best of 80 gun accident prevention programs evaluated. Beyond that, the effectiveness of the Program is evident in several ways. First, fatal firearms accidents in the Eddie Eagle age group have been reduced by more than 80 percent since the program’s nationwide launch, 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. Second, we often receive letters from parents whose children have encountered guns in unsupervised situations and avoided an accident by doing exactly what Eddie Eagle had taught them: "STOP! Don't touch. Run away. Tell a grown-up.” Third, the Program has been honored or endorsed by groups such as the National Sheriffs’ Association, the U.S. Department of Justice (through the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention), and the Association of American Educators. The Program also received bipartisan support from 26 state governors, as well as resolutions from 23 state legislatures, recommending the use of the Eddie Eagle Program. Finally, the fact that 26,000 school teachers and law enforcement officers have taught the Program to over 28 million children verifies the popularity of the Program with those who deal with child safety issues every day.

Does Eddie Eagle promote firearm ownership or use?

No! The Program neither offers nor asks for any value judgment concerning firearms. Like safety lessons about swimming pools, electrical outlets and matchbooks, Eddie Eagle’s sole purpose is to give children crucial information about what to do if they ever come across a gun. With firearms found in about half of all American households, it’s a message that makes sense. Eddie is never pictured holding or even touching a gun. 

Is grant funding available?

Schools, law enforcement, hospitals, daycare centers and libraries are eligible for grant funding. To learn if there is grant funding available in your state, call the Eddie Eagle Department at 1-800-231-0752. You can then place your order; no application is necessary. Grants are generously made possible by Friends of NRA fundraising events.

Video FAQs

How did you come up with the ideas for the storyline and characters?

The NRA held 22 focus groups in 12 cities across the country. These groups included superintendents, principals, teachers, parents and children from various ethnicities, genders and socioeconomic backgrounds. Groups reviewed a variety of storylines and characters, which were adapted based on feedback. The NRA is confident that the final product is approachable and relatable for all.

I don’t think it’s believable to find a gun in the park. Why did you choose that setting?

The gun is found in a communal area, underlining the idea that sometimes you might find a gun where you least expect. This scenario was verified as a believable situation by focus group participants.

How do video games play into the storyline?

Gary Goose is the video gamer in the story, and he makes some comments that highlight the difference between guns in video games and guns in real life.

I noticed that the mantra of the Program has changed slightly. Why did that happen?

Eddie’s original mantra was “Stop! Don’t touch. Leave the area. Tell an adult.” However, during research, the NRA discovered that children had a hard time remembering words they didn’t use regularly—especially area and adult. The updated mantra integrates more kid-friendly words and phrases like run away and grown-up, and recall on the mantra has improved as a result.

Eddie Eagle GunSafe® Program

The number one gun accident prevention program for children, Eddie Eagle GunSafe®, has taught over 29 million children how to stay safe if they ever find a gun.

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