Gun lock giveaway seeks to make Memphis safer

MEMPHIS, TN (WMC) - With Memphis ranking as a city with some of the most accidental child shootings in the country, a group organized a gun lock giveaway to help make the city safer.

"I think that for for every gun lock and every packet that is given away today, that is another life that is saved potentially," U.S. Attorney Mike Dunavant said.

Two-thousand gun locks were available for free at six locations across Memphis on Tuesday.

Gun locks were given away without any questions asked. People who took the gun locks didn't even have to provide identification. The event was designed to help owners make sure their weapons were not used improperly or accidentally.

In the Mid-South, guns are being used improperly every day.

In April, a 13-year-old shot their 12-year-old sibling in the arm. And that's just one of the dozens of accidental shootings that could've been prevented this year alone had the guns had been properly secured and stored.

"Accidents happen and sometimes we can't recover from them," Memphis Police Department Director Mike Rallings said. "We've seen that with the death of--losing young people to senseless accidents."

"I cannot even imagine what it would be like to have my own grandchild use my own gun to harm themselves. I can't wrap my brain around it, so I want to make sure that doesn't happen in my home," grandmother Cassandra Dickerson said.

Project ChildSafe partnered with City of Memphis, law enforcement, and many local gun safety advocates.

The gun lock giveaway ran until 6 p.m. on Tuesday, however, if you miss your chance to get a gun lock this time, you can get one anytime at your local police precinct.

Project ChildSafe has been around for 20 years, but is needed more than ever after several Mid-South children have been killed by unlocked guns.

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