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Better safe than sorry 

Free gun locks help keep post children safe from harm

A cable gun lock slides through the chamber of a 9-mm making it impossible for a magazine with rounds to be inserted.
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Sharon McBride
Fort Richardson PAO

On average from 2000 to 2005, three U.S. children died every day in non-homicide firearm incidents, according to The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s National Center for Health Statistics.

In an effort to promote firearm safety on post, 1,000 cable-style gun locks are available free of charge from the Directorate of Emergency Services and the Fort Richardson military police. 

Along with a lock, information to promote further education on safe weapon handling will be provided as a part of a kit, said April Cook, a DES physical security specialist.

The locks are available on a first-come, first-served basis and will be distributed upon request during normal duty hours at the Military Police Station, Bldg. 656, on A Street.

The locks will work with many of the commonly-owned firearms, she said. The cable attached to the lock runs through the chamber and out again, making it impossible for a bullet to be chambered and fired.

“The locks are intended to provide an effective barrier against young children who might come into contact with the weapon,” Cook said.  “Even if you don’t have children, we suggest using gun locks. You never know when you might have guests over who have children.

“Kids are smart,” she continued. “You might think you have the gun stored in a good, inaccessible place, and they still will find it. It’s better to have a lock on it.”

In housing, according to post regulations, all personally owned weapons must be stored separately from the ammo. Single Soldiers who own weapons must store them in the unit arms room. Regardless of who owns them, all personal weapons on post must be registered with the MPs.

The free locks were made available through Project ChildSafe, a nationwide firearm safety education program developed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, which receives funding through a United States Department of Justice grant and the firearm industry.

Anyone on Fort Richardson who wants a lock may also pick up a free safety kit. For more information, call April Cook at 384-6864 or the MP desk at 384-0823.