April 25, 2024 The Newspaper Serving LGBT Los Angeles

LA County Provides Free Gun Safety Locks to Combat Accidental Shootings

Initiative Aims to Reduce Tragic Incidents Involving Firearms

In a bid to tackle the public health crisis of gun violence, the Los Angeles County Office of Violence Prevention, a component of the Department of Public Health, has made 60,000 gun safety locks accessible to the public at no cost and with no questions asked.

Initially, free gun safety locks will be distributed at six County medical facilities:

  • Harbor-UCLA Medical Center
  • High Desert Regional Health Center
  • Los Angeles General Medical Center
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Outpatient Center
  • Olive View-UCLA Medical Center
  • Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center

Later this year, these safety locks will also be made available at Los Angeles County libraries.

Statistics reveal that in Los Angeles County, a child falls victim to gun violence every 30 hours. Many of these incidents involve firearms left loaded and unlocked. Nationally, an estimated 4.6 million children reside in households with loaded and unlocked firearms, which are often used to inflict harm on others or oneself. In 2022 alone, the County recorded over 300 suicides involving firearms.

Dr. Barbara Ferrer, Director of Public Health, emphasized, “Far too many families have experienced the terrible pain of losing a child or teenager to gun violence. In many of these cases, the simple act of locking and safely storing firearms would have prevented a tragedy. Fostering a culture of safety within the community begins with simple steps like securing firearms and protecting our children.”

Rudy Nuñez, a gun violence survivor, shared his story: “In 1993, at the age of 16, I was shot in the neck and diagnosed as a C5-C7 quadriplegic. Throughout my rehab process, I started to see improvement, thanks to the care I received at Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center. Now, as a KnowBarriers Peer Mentor, I’m proud to join the Department of Public Health in launching this initiative to provide free gun safety locks to the community. Offering free gun locks and educating the community about gun safety will keep our families safe.

“To obtain more information or secure a free gun safety lock, individuals can visit lockedandunloaded.org.

in NEWS
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