Under a federal program, 403,700 gun locks will be provided to Indiana police departments for free public distribution, the Indianapolis Star reports. It is part of Project ChildSafe, launched this year with a $50 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. In the next three years, organizers hope to distribute 20 million locks, which prevent a handgun or rifle from firing, nationwide.
Brownsburg, In., Police Chief Dave Galloway said the free cable gun locks fit perfectly with his department’s new gun-safety initiative. “If this project saves the life of one kid, it’s worthwhile,” he said.
This month, trucks also will visit California, Delaware, Maryland, and Ohio.
Five Hoosiers under age 20 died in firearms accidents in 2001, the latest year for which data are available, and 182 were killed nationally that year, says the Atlanta-based National Center for Injury Prevention and Control.
Some groups, including the National Rifle Association, say the low gun accident rate makes gun locks unnecessary. The NRA argues that a lock makes a gun worthless when it’s needed for self-defense.