A gun-industry trade group and law enforcement officials will distribute 190,000 free gun locks in New Jersey, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.
The giveaway, called Project ChildSafe, is sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. It is part of a national effort funded by the U.S. Department of Justice to prevent accidents like the one that killed Daniel Larkin, the 13-year-old son of Mercer County Sheriff Kevin Larkin.
Daniel Larkin accidentally shot himself in 2001 with his father’s service gun. “I live with the guilt to this day,” the sheriff said. “No one should have to go through the pain from losing a child from a handgun accident.”
Steve Alger of Project ChildSafe said the free cable gun locks will be distributed to every New Jersey police department and sheriff’s office, which will decide how to hand out the devices and gun-safety literature. Gun owners interested in obtaining a lock should contact their local law enforcement agency. “We don’t expect to reach every gun owner this time around, but those who don’t take advantage now, we hope to get their attention later,” Alger said.
Since his son’s death, Larkin has become a gun-safety advocate, teaching courses at the Trenton Police Academy and distributing gun locks to all of his officers. “This now is the most important thing I can do,” he said.