COLUMBUS, Ohio (WCMH) – Columbus city and safety leaders are increasing efforts to try and keep guns out of the hands of children after an increase in accidental shootings involving kids, calling those incidents preventable tragedies.
“I know what the damage can be when a child has been shot. I have taken care of them. I’ve taken care of adults who have been shot,” said Councilmember Mitchell Brown, who used to be a paramedic. “But it’s different when you hold a child in your arms and know their life is in your hands and that shooting was an accidental discharge.”
Leaders announced on Monday a new initiative called “Love Our Children, Lock Your Guns,” which makes 5,000 gun locks available free to residents. The locks are available at any Columbus fire station.
“It’s incumbent upon us to stop the flow of firearms into the hands of young people,” Mayor Andrew Ginther said. “Guns are not toys and owning them is a very serious responsibility.”
The cable locks can be picked up at the fire stations between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m.
“It should be a no-brainer for everyone. If you have a firearm, it is the responsible duty of that individual to secure that firearm,” said minister Rashayn Hayes.
Hayes showed up at the fire station where Monday’s announcement was made before it was over to pick up a safety device. He was looking for a lock box, which people can get through Columbus Public Health. He has a two-year-old grandson and does not want to take any chances.