WINCHESTER, Ky. (FOX 56) — In the past year, more than 160 American children under the age of 13 were involved in accidental shootings. A central Kentucky police department has made it its mission to prevent such tragedies.
The Winchester Police Department is providing extra safety to the community, with one simple device.
June is national gun violence awareness month, and the Winchester Police Department is working to protect children from mishandling guns by offering gun locks such as this one free to the community.
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“If anybody that’s going to be a responsible gun owner should take a gun owner safety course, 54% of the people in this country have an unlocked and loaded firearm in their home at this time,” Sgt. Monty Corbett at the Winchester Police Department.
Firearm injuries are a serious public health threat. Sergeant Corbett said project child safe has donated a hundred-gun locks to help keep guns out of the hands of an unauthorized users.
“Project child safe is the firearms industry’s gun safety program. It’s been around for more than 20 years and has supplied more than 40 million gun locks to law enforcement departments across the country,” communications director Bill Brassard for the National Sports Foundation said.
Gun safety locks help prevent accidental discharges and reduce the risk associated with unsecured handguns in homes and in cars.
“It’s not for the gun that you’re going to need at a moment’s notice. We encourage you to still have some type of firearm safe to be able to get to that gun in an emergency,” Corbett said.
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When police hand out free gun locks. They also hope they’re educating people about how the devices can prevent accidents and maybe even mass shootings.
“And studies have shown that 80% of school shooters in this country under the age of 18 have obtained a firearm that was unlocked and loaded from either their family’s home, a friend’s home or a relative,” Corbett said.
According to the CDC, at least 45,000 people died of firearm-related deaths in 2020 and in 20% of the cases, the person with the gun didn’t mean to fire it, and 40% of all unintentional shooting deaths among children occur in the home of a friend.
“A lot of sportsmen and hunters have multiple firearms, and sometimes it takes a full-sized gun safe to secure all those guns,” Brassard said.
You can stop by the police department any weekday during the month of June between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. to obtain a free cable lock for your firearm.