Gun lock giveaway starts this weekend

Thursday, May 11th 2000, 12:00 am
By: News On 6

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) -- Law enforcement officers will be passing out thousands of cable gun locks Saturday at Braum's stores throughout Oklahoma as part of a state program Lt. Gov. Mary Fallin says will keep homes safer.

"Many of us already have smoke detectors, carbon monoxide detectors, burglar alarms and other safety devices in our home," Fallin said Thursday. "This cable gun lock is just another safety device that can make Oklahoma homes safer for our children."

The National Shooting Sports Foundation is providing the cable gun locks to Fallin's office at no charge to the state. The gun and hunting industry trade group will provide more than $250,000 in cable locks for Saturday's giveaway, said NSFF Executive Director Doug Painter.

The 100,000 gun locks are similar to bicycle locks. They can be used on loaded weapons, unlike trigger locks, which are designed for use on unloaded weapons.

The locks usually are threaded through the weapon's firing mechanism to prevent it from being fired.

The locks will come with gun-safety kits that explain how to use them.

County sheriffs, local police and Oklahoma Highway Patrol troopers will be handing out the devices at 59 Braum's Ice Cream and Dairy Stores throughout the state.

Fallin said the officers would not be asking for identification or getting any information from people who ask for the locks. She said Project Home Safe has nothing to do with Second Amendment issues.

"It has nothing to do with mandating special types of weapons locks on firearms. It has nothing to do with mandatory registration or waiting periods for gun purchases or anything else," she said.

"We want to provide these devices to anyone who thinks the gun in their house would be a little safer if it had a lock on it. Nothing more," she said.

The gun lock giveaway is scheduled from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday.

Fallin said the discussion about the lock giveaway began after last year's shooting outside Fort Gibson Middle School where a student wounded four of his schoolmates and a fifth student was hurt by a ricochet.

The gun lock giveaway sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation is supported by a diverse coalition of groups, including the National Rifle Association, the Safe Kids Coalition and Oklahomans for Gun Safety.

A pro-gun group, Citizens for a Safer Oklahoma, has sponsored a billboard along the Broken Arrow Expressway that warns of the dangers of locks. It says "Criminals Love Trigger Locks."

Tulsa Police Chief Ron Palmer disagrees that the locks are dangerous.

"I think its an overstatement to say that these are a criminal's best friend," he said.

He said gun locks are designed for use in the home, where the most likely victims of a gunshot injury or death are the people who live there.

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