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Decatur Police Dept. offers free gun locks

Gun owners can pick up free gun locks from the Decatur Police Department. These locks are available 24/7.

DECATUR, Ala. — Just this year already, there have been at least 158 unintentional shootings by children with 68 of those shootings resulting in death and 99 in injuries, according to Everytown for Gun Safety. As a firearm owner, it's up to you to ensure that guns in your home are stored away from children or other unauthorized persons. 

Irene Cardenas-Martinez, spokesperson for Decatur Police, says, "If you are a gun owner, it's a huge responsibility, especially if you have kids in the house."

Simply hiding a gun is not enough. According to the folks at John Hopkins University, an estimated 54 percent of gun owners don't lock all of their guns securely.

Cardenas-Martinez says, "Hiding a gun in a closet or drawer is not safe storage. Children are extremely curious and might find a gun in your home that you thought was safely hidden or inaccessible. The goal here is to just prevent accidents in the home. We want to keep everyone safe and secure and just make sure everyone's being responsible with their guns. And these life-saving locks are free."

Every year, nearly 350 children under the age of 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else. This equates to approximately one unintentional shooting per day. Nearly 77 percent of these incidents take place inside a home. Decatur police hope to cut down on the number of gun-related accidents while also promoting the sheer importance of locking your guns up safely.

CLICK HERE FOR A MAP OF UNINTENTIONAL SHOOTINGS BY CHILDREN

This means storing firearms locked, unloaded, and separate from ammunition. You may be wondering, does keeping a gun so tightly locked away defeat the purpose of owning a gun in the first place?

According to Everytown, it's estimated that each year 200,000 to 500,000 guns are stolen and funneled into the underground market where once-legally-owned firearms can be transferred to people with dangerous histories. 

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Alabama is one of the top 10 states in the country when it comes to gun ownership, coming in at number eight. With so many gun owners here, gun safety should be a top priority. Decatur police department is giving away free firearm locks. 

Need a gun lock? No need to go to a store or wait for delivery. The Decatur Police Department has free gun locks available at their front desk, 24/7. Almost 80 percent of accidental shootings happen in the home. It's important to make sure your guns are stored safely, to prevent any accidents with kids. More than 80% of guns used by youth in suicide attempts were kept in the home of the victim, a relative, or a friend.

About 30 percent of accidental gun deaths could be prevented with a simple childproof gun lock.

RELATED: Yes, there were more children killed in school shootings this year than on-duty law enforcement officers killed by gunfire

RELATED: Yes, there were more children killed in school shootings this year than on-duty law enforcement officers killed by gunfire

RELATED: Gun violence in America: A long list of forgotten victims 

RELATED: Yes, there were more gun deaths among American children than police and military in the line of duty, since 2000

With kids out of school for summer, please be extra mindful of guns in your home. It's important to keep guns stored...

Posted by Decatur Police Department Alabama on Friday, July 8, 2022

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