Oklahoma City is the first stop of a federally funded national push to give away free gun locks, The Oklahoman reports. The locks, made from a cable that is threaded through a firearm to prevent it from being loaded, are available by request from police departments. Advocates from Project ChildSafe Communities joined with local leaders yesterday to launch the advocacy campaign, which is funded by a $2.4 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice. By increasing the number of locked-up firearms, they expect the number of accidental shootings and suicides to drop.
Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett said the issue is personal. “When I was in the seventh grade, I had a friend who was killed in a gun accident, by his own gun,” said Cornett. “And I often think to myself, even now, how could that have been prevented?” Steve Sanetti of the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the group that manages Project ChildSafe Communities, said the campaign isn’t about gun control. “We respect what firearms can do,” he said. “They can be used safely and responsibly by the vast majority of people.” The money was approved in 2015 under the Obama administration. It was the first time in almost a decade that funds were available through the program.