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Making gun locks and other resources more accessible to the community

Gun locks offered at Indianapolis Public Libraries
Posted at 7:37 AM, Jun 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-06-29 07:37:11-04

INDIANAPOLIS — Ahead of permitless carry taking effect in Indiana on July 1, gun safety advocates are encouraging gun owners to take the necessary measures to keep their guns locked away in a safe spot.

In Indianapolis, gun owners can go to any public library and get a gun lock. It's an offering that was spearheaded by the Marion County Sheriff's Office back in 2014.

However, despite the thousands of gun locks that have been given out over the years, community activist Brandon Randall says it's important to realize not everyone can go to a local library or feels comfortable doing that.

"With the gun locks or resources in general, I think we have too much of a requirement that people have to go get the resources. I think we have to find a way to get the resources to the people," Randall said.

He points to several reasons why someone may not be able to access this community resource.

"Transportation is a real thing especially with gas prices being so high but just life in general can get in the way," Randall said. "If I'm a person with four kids, maybe I don't have the ability to get everybody together and go the library and get everything I need. If we're being intentional on building relationships, that's where the community engagement part is strong."

Randall believes connecting a community to accessible resources can address a wide range of issues and in the long run, can cut back on violent crime.

"Whether that's the gun locks, conflict resolution, information for domestic violence, whatever it may be," Randall said. "Just making sure there's a centralized opportunity for people to access that especially for conflict because we know that a majority of the homicides this year have been rooted in conflict.

An analysis of data from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention found states who pass permitless carry see an increase of 22% in gun homicides in the three years after the law goes into effect.

The potential for more gun violence in our city is concerning to Randall. He's hopeful our elected leaders will talk to everyone in our community on how to make neighborhoods safer.

"If you have a person who has a carried a gun since they were 16, maybe they've been shot, maybe they've shot somebody, I'd certainly listen to them on what resources the city needs over a politician who has never even experienced that," he said.