Free gun locks will be given away Friday at St. Louis City Hall | St. Louis Public Radio

Free gun locks will be given away Friday at St. Louis City Hall

Mar 31, 2016

Free gun locks will be given out Friday at City Hall in St. Louis.

The event is part of the “Lock it for Love” program organized by Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice.

Barbara Finch, a member of the group’s effort to reduce gun violence, says nearly 40 percent of homes with children in the United States have a gun. Additionally, she added that one-third of guns are kept both loaded and unlocked.

The “Lock it for Love” program intends to make sure firearms aren’t lying around for children to stumble upon.  

“If you have an unsecured firearm and a child in your home or a child who comes to visit you frequently, we want you to lock up that gun because children are safer in homes without guns. But if you have a gun, you really need to lock it up and keep it safe from kids,” Finch said.

A recent study showed that 398 patients under the age of 16 were treated for firearm injuries in two local emergency rooms from 2008-2013.

The program is not only focused on accidental gun injuries and deaths, but also suicide.

“More than 50 percent of all gun deaths are suicides and teenagers especially can be moody and despondent and act very quickly and in a moment of despair, a loaded, unlocked gun can spell disaster for a teenager,” Finch said. 

Friday’s event will run from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the City Hall Rotunda.  The City of St. Louis and the Deaconess Foundation are helping put on the event.

Finch said Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice will also be giving away free gun locks at an event on Saturday, April 30 at the O’Fallon Park Recreation Complex in North St. Louis. 

Follow Nathan Rubbelke on Twitter: @naterub