Residents of eastern Racine County - including Caledonia residents - are invited to pick up free cable gun locks at one of four area Racine COP (Community Oriented Policing) houses.
The give-away is from 4 to 6 p.m. Friday at these COP house locations:
- 1140 Geneva Street
- 1146 Villa Street
- 1900 16th Street
- Regency Mall Information Center – 5500 Durand Ave. (Northeast Entrance)
According to a press release from the City of Racine Health Department, the gun locks and instruction sheets are being provided by a grant from the Charles E. Kubly Foundation for the Kenosha County Division of Health.
The Foundation is dedicated to improving the lives of individuals diagnosed with depression. The gun lock give-away is to help promote gun safety and suicide prevention, the release states.
No names will be collected during the event, RPD Sgt. Jessie Metoyer confirmed. Gun owners will only be asked to fill out a card with demographic information; their age, gender and race.
"We are helping give away the cable locks because gun safety is important," she said. "We are not interested in getting anyone's name, just that residents take advantage of the locks."
Dottie-Kay Bowersox writes that a full 85 percent of all youth suicides are committed with a family member's weapon. There are 420 accidental firearm deaths each year in Wisconsin.
"Gun locks are one way we can save the lives of children and those who should not have access to firearms," she said in the release.
Instructions for using the gun lock are pretty simple:
A cable gun lock is a device that blocks the chamber to prevent the weapon from being fired. Cable gun locks are put through the magazine well or chamber, or are put through the gun barrel and chamber to block a bullet from moving into position. A combination or key opens the lock.
Lt. Al Days with the Racine Police Department confirmed that multiple firearms will require their own lock.
"These cannot be used for more than one gun at a time," he said. "Gun owners who have more than one gun will need to pick one lock for each firearm."
Bowersox urges gun owners to use multiple layers of protection to prevent accidents.
"A cable gun lock is one part of protecting your loved ones from an accident," the release states. "Additional safety measures include a gun safe, lock box, firearm safety training and talking about guns with your loved ones."
Residents who want more information can call (262) 636-9201.