COLUMBUS (WCMH) – Gun locks are now available for free at any of Columbus’ 34 fire stations.
At least 1,500 gunlocks are available to the central Ohio community because of an $8,500 investment from Columbus City Council.
“This is a well worth it investment, in the city, keeping people safe,” said City Council President Shannon Hardin.
The program is called “Love Our Children, Lock Your Gun,” and the gunlocks are available from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. at any of Columbus’ 34 firehouses.
“We figure the best way to distribute them is get them to the fire stations, because there’s a good chance there’s going to be somebody at the fire station,” said Columbus Division of Fire Battalion Chief Steve Martin. “You can stop by close to your neighborhood, and go in and ask for them.”
Martin said that this year alone, Columbus Fire has responded to three accidental shooting deaths involving juveniles, but gun-related incidents like this are happening to more than just children.
“We see it around here all the time, if that firearm is not in your immediate possession, it needs to be secured,” said Eric Delbert, owner of L.E.P.D. Firearms and Range. “Not just from kids, or people who don’t know about firearms, but also from bad guys.”
Delbert said the use of gunlocks is crucial in preventing accidental shootings. However, he said it is highly unlikely the locks will do much to impact Columbus’ high gun violence.
“Will have nothing to do with what we’re seeing on the streets,” Delbert said. “This will help the two, three, and four times a year that we see these children get a gun, and accidentally pull the trigger.”
Columbus Fire is asking people who do come by to pick up a gunlock, to simply provide their zip code, so that they can identify where the locks are most needed in the community.