DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) – Free gun locks are now available in Montgomery County.
The Montgomery County Prevention Coalition is looking to distribute hundreds of free gun locks in hopes of protecting children from gun violence, according to Tristyn Eppley, manager of the Montgomery County Prevention Coalition.
Earlier this week, a 3-year-old boy in Riverside accidentally shot himself in the leg with his father’s gun, which was not properly secured, according to police. The child is still recovering at Dayton Children’s, authorities said Tuesday.
Under the new program, the free gun locks are available to anyone living in Montgomery County, Eppley said.
The coalition has collected 700 gun locks so far – 500 donated by Project Child Safe and 200 donated by the Brookville Police Department, Eppley said.
“Other communities throughout the state of Ohio have been implementing this gun lock program that really encourages child safety,” she added.
The Montgomery County Prevention Coalition’s goal is to distribute 2,500 gun locks over the next two years, Eppley said.
“We work a lot on suicide prevention and unintentional harm prevention, and we see that unfortunately, the most lethal means of people suffering from a fatality is firearms when we’re looking at suicides, and Montgomery County data shows us that,” Eppley explained.
According to experts, keeping your firearms locked up is important, especially if you have children in your home.
“You got to watch what you’re doing,” said Ryan Spence, the owner of Spence Gunsmithing in Trotwood. “You got to be aware.”
Storing guns in a locked safe is also an effective way to keep your kids protected, Spence said.
“We’re a big fan of large safes – never hurts,” he said. “Fingerprint, your biometric safes. Those are a good idea if you need to access it quickly. That’ll keep the kids out of it.”
If you’re a Montgomery County resident and would like to obtain a free gun lock, visit the Montgomery County Prevention Coalition’s website or call Montgomery County’s ADAMHS board at 937-443-0416.