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'I want to make sure my kids are safe': Gun lock giveaway aims to prevent accidental shootings

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Posted at 11:25 PM, May 02, 2024
and last updated 2024-05-02 23:25:49-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Preventing accidental shootings was the goal of a free gun lock giveaway Thursday put on by IMPD and the Marion County Sheriff’s Office.

The easy-to-use tool could mean the difference between life or death.

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"You don't want to lose your life and you don't want a kid to lose theirs from a simple mistake,” said Cammeal Harding.

Harding is gun owner who took advantage of the lock distribution, provided for free Thursday no questions asked.

They were passed out by both police departments at the Villa Del Sol Apartments on the city’s west side.

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"I have a 12-year-old and an 18-year-old and they're at the age where things can possibly happen, any age is an age where things can happen,” she explained. "I want to make sure my kids are safe, their friends, anybody that may be around me.”

"My grandkids might come around, might see the wrong thing accidentally. Since I got this gun lock, it stops them from killing themselves,” added another resident, Demika Hunt.

The distribution event comes after IMPD reported a rise in accidental shootings last year with 229 involving both adults and kids.

The preventable incidents accounted for 24% of all youth shootings in 2023.

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In February of this year, an accidental shooting took the life of a two-year-old.

"We've seen a high number of kids or teenagers injured as a result,” said IMPD Public Information Officer William Young. "Our primary focus is to reduce gun violence and improve gun safety."

Hundreds of locks were available, but many were left unclaimed with only a handful of residents showing up on Thursday.

"If we can just get one gun lock out that's a win for us,” said Young.

A win, police want to celebrate more often.

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"The more the better. If you have a firearm in your home, especially if you have young kids that live in the home, this is a plus,” he said. “We care about you, our officers care about you, the community cares about you, we want you to take advantage of this opportunity."

Majority of the locks were provided by the sheriff’s office.

The rest of the locks were provided by Project ChildSafe, a nationwide program that aims to help ensure safe and responsible firearm ownership and storage.

Free gun locks are also available at all Indianapolis Public Library branches, and the Marion County Sheriff's Office, while supplies lasts.