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Project Homesafe offers gun locks to Missourians

Thursday, June 6, 2002

The keys to helping prevent deaths and injuries from firearms accidents, literally, are coming to a city near you. Firearms locks, keys to secure the locks and safety brochures are included in free firearms safety kits being distributed by the Conservation Federation of Missouri, (CFM), Missouri Department of Conservation agents, hunter education instructors and the state's law enforcement agencies.Sixty thousand kits will be given away in Missouri. The gun lock give-away is part of Project Homesafe, a national campaign promoting safe firearms handling and storage.Project Homesafe was created by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF) through a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice (DoJ) and funding from NSSF members, the manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers and retailers of shooting sports equipment. In addition to distributing the locks, local cooperators in the program provide firearms safety education."This program can prevent parents from facing the anguish of their children being seriously injured or killed from firearms accidents," said CFM Executive Director Denny Ballard. "We're giving people a simple device that can make their homes safer. The locks assure guns are stored properly and help prevent kids from getting guns in their hands."The firearms locks consist of vinyl-covered steel cables with one end permanently secured to a keyed padlock. They fit a wide variety of firearms. Firearms must be unloaded before the locks can be engaged. The cable passes through the chamber or action, making it impossible to load the firearm.Learning to use the locks takes only a few minutes. The locking devices can be detached within seconds, allowing an authorized user quick access to a gun if needed.According to the DoJ Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, firearms are the fourth leading cause of accidental deaths among children ages 5 to 14. The DoJ also reports that about one-third of the deaths resulting from accidental shooting could be prevented by a firearms safety device such as a trigger lock.Lt. Gov. Joe Maxwell launched Missouri's Project Homesafe program May 10 with the announcement of the Project Homesafe Safety Tour. Maxwell says educating state residents about firearms safety and giving them a way to secure guns from unintended use is vital to protecting Missouri's children."This is a program supported by all people regardless of their position on Second Amendment issues," said Maxwell. "The cable locks can prevent tragedies from happening."The tour features two 16-foot mobile classroom trucks in which Missourians can watch a safety video and view displays of safe firearms storage equipment. The buses will travel to about 30 cities across the state. At each stop local conservation agents, hunter education instructors and police officers will provide instructions on firearms safety and use of the firearms locks. Visit the CFM web site www.confedmo.com and click on the key word "news" to view the Homesafe Tour schedule.Missourians in cities not on the tour schedule have several other options for getting firearms safety kits. Conservation agents, hunter education instructors and officers in every state policing agency also have received locks to distribute. Local Project Homesafe participants also will distribute locks at county fairs, firearms safety training classes and other local events. For details on how to get cable locks for distribution at special events, contact the nearest Conservation Department office or the conservation agent in your county. The tour stops in St. Joe on June 10.



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