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CPD distributes free gun locks

RANDY PARKER/THE DAILY TRIBUNE NEWS
Lt. M.E. Bettikofer, of the Cartersville Police Department, shows one of the gun locks that the CPD and Project ChildSafe are providing to gun owners at no cost.
To promote firearm safety, the Cartersville Police Department is distributing complimentary gun locks provided by Project ChildSafe.

“The Cartersville Police Department is pleased to have partnered with Project ChildSafe for 2018 as we have done in the past,” Cartersville Chief of Police Frank McCann said. “Keeping a loaded firearm out of the hands of a child to prevent an accidental shooting incident is priority for us in this project. This program has always been a success, and has opened the door for important dialogue between the citizens and the police department.

“The interaction between the citizen who comes into the police department to get a gun lock and the officer who distributes them is an invaluable opportunity to get to know one another. Not only will the locks used properly keep firearms storage safer, but any question or guidance needed from our officers on any matter can be given or requested. Creating an environment where we can come into contact with the public and establish a relationship while making their home safer is a ‘win-win’ for us.”

Encouraging gun owners to obtain one of these free items, Cartersville Police Lt. M.E. Bettikofer calls gun locks “a great first step” in securing a firearm.

“The gun locks provided are cable locks,” Bettikofer said. “These locks are great to use because it requires the magazine to be removed — pistols and some rifles — and an open chamber or ejection port to secure it. This shows that a weapon is ‘out of battery’ or unable to fire under conventional conditions. With this lock inserted, the gun cannot be put ‘in battery.’ We have plenty of gun locks and arrangements can be made to acquire more through Project ChildSafe if the need arises. There are no requirements to receive a lock from any adult who is requesting one.

“A properly secured firearm can prevent anyone in the home who should not have access to the weapon from handling it. A gun lock is a great first step in properly securing a firearm. The best way to store a firearm in the home is unloaded, locked and in an inconspicuously located safe.”

Further details on responsible gun ownership can be found online at www.projectchildsafe.org.

According to the national organization’s website, “Project ChildSafe is the largest, most comprehensive firearm safety education program in the U.S. It was developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the trade association for the firearms industry, and is committed to promoting genuine firearm safety through the distribution of safety education messages and free firearm safety kits. The kits include a cable-style gun-locking device and a brochure — also available in Spanish — that discusses safe handling and secure storage guidelines to help deter access by unauthorized individuals.

“Project ChildSafe is a real firearm safety solution that helps make communities safer. Since 1999, more than 15,000 law enforcement agencies have partnered with the program to distribute more than 37 million firearm safety kits to gun owners in all 50 states and five U.S. territories. Through vital partnerships with elected officials, community leaders, state agencies, businesses, the firearms industry and other stakeholders, Project ChildSafe has helped raise awareness about the safe and responsible ownership of firearms and the importance of storing firearms securely when not in use to help prevent accidents, theft and misuse.”

To learn more about obtaining a gun lock, drop by the Cartersville Police Department at 195 Cassville Road or call 770-382-2526.

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