CHICAGO, IL – In an effort to promote gun safety, police departments across Illinois are joining hands with various organizations to distribute free trigger locks to residents. The initiative aims to reduce accidental shootings, suicides, and deaths, particularly in households with children and teenagers.
According to Aftermath, a statistical data analysis firm, an average of 492 people die unintentionally from guns each year. The year 2022 witnessed more than 200 children aged between 0-17 dying from gunshot wounds, and an additional 519 were injured. From 2006-2016, nearly 7,000 people in the U.S. died due to unintentional shootings.
Police departments are giving out free trigger locks to anyone who owns a gun, emphasizing that having a lock can prevent curious children and unauthorized individuals from accessing firearms. Besides, the initiative promotes safe gun storage practices, including storing firearms in a secure and inaccessible location, even with a lock.
Chief John Franklin from Streator has been distributing trigger locks since late January, and other police departments, including Alsip, Beecher, Bourbonnais, Champaign, Chicago, Glen Ellyn, Shorewood, KAMEG (Kankakee), New Lenox, Orland Lake, and others have also given away gun locks or partnered with organizations to distribute them.
The National Shooting Sports Foundation’s Project ChildSafe program is leading the national effort to distribute free gun locks. The program has provided over 37 million locks through local law enforcement agencies, including a free cable-style gun lock and safety instructions.
By providing free locks and promoting safe gun storage practices, police departments hope to reduce accidental shootings and deaths resulting from improper gun storage.