FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WFFT) - Over the last 5 years, 17 children in the city of Fort Wayne have been injured or killed in accidental shootings.
That number may pale in comparison to the 260,000+ people who live in the city, but Police Chief Steve Reed believes it’s more than what it should be.
"That number should be 0. If you’re going to have a firearm, we just ask that you’re a responsible owner," Reed said.
That doesn’t mean taking your guns away, but rather, locking them up.
Fort Wayne Police are partnering with Project SafeChild, a national program that promotes safely storing your firearms, something Mayor Tom Henry says is desperately needed.
Henry said, "Unfortunately, we have a number of weapons in this community that are not secured and for one reason or another, individuals feel it’s not necessary. We’re saying it is."
The city is literally just giving them away. You go down to the Fort Wayne Police desk in the Rousseau Center, ask for a gun lock, take it home and lock your gun.
The locks don’t just work with hand guns, you can use it on any type of gun, feeding it through the magazine well.
This is a program that’s saved countless lives and something Reed wishes was around when he was a detective. He still remembers responding to a child who died after accidentally pulling the trigger on an unlocked gun.
Reed said, "It was a tragic incident that didn’t have to happen. The person, I support their right to have the firearm, like I said before, but it wasn’t stored safely and unfortunately a child lost their life because of it."
The city is giving away these locks through the month of June. They only have 400 so you may want to get one soon.