Free gun locks prevent tragedy, Sheriff’s Office says

Why is the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office giving away something as valuable as gun locks? We’ve got the answer right here …

Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office Public Information Officer Lt. Mary Lindstrand says these locks will help keep citizens – especially those with children – safer.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton
Again this year, the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office is participating in the nationwide “Project ChildSafe” program, created to promote safe firearms handling and storage.

“The program is twofold,” explained Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson Lt. Mary Lindstrand. “The first part is helping to give safety education; the second is providing two free gun locking devices to county residents.”

The purpose of a gun lock is to keep your gun “safe” – meaning that it cannot be fired. “With the lock properly installed, the gun – either a handgun or long gun – will not permit ammunition to be fired; it disarms it.”

Lt. Lindstrand demonstrates how a gun lock would be threaded through a Glock semi-automatic pistol.

While it’s not designed to keep a gun from being stolen – its purpose is to keep it “safe” while in your home – Lindstrand explained that a gun lock will often dissuade a burglar from taking it, if they see a gun lock is securely in place. “You just don’t know who may gain access to your weapon. It’s ‘better safe than sorry’. And free is a very good price to be safe in your home.”

After taking the ammo clip out of a Glock semi-automatic pistol, and verifying that the gun was clear of bullets, Lindstrand demonstrated how quickly and easily the lock can be installed. “It does come with a key, of course. But, the key should be kept in a different, very safe place, away from the locked gun.”

The gun can still be readily available for personal protection, Lindstrand said, yet keeping it locked the rest of the time can prevent a tragedy from occurring.

“Children are especially curious about a gun – what it is, and what it does,” noted Lindstrand. “Using a lock like this will prevent that curiosity from turning into a tragedy. Why risk danger, when you can prevent it so easily – and for free – with a gun lock?”

Already this season, Lindstrand said, the MSCO has supplied about 500 locks. “We’ll have them until they’re gone – and they’re free, two per household.”

To get a gun lock, visit the Sheriff’s office on NE Glisan Street, just east of NE 122nd Avenue – they’re in the front lobby and available during regular business hours.

The program is funded by U.S. Department of Justice grants, and administered by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the shooting sports industry’s largest and most diverse trade association.

© 2009 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News

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