Group will give away gunlocks

Published 12:00 am Saturday, December 15, 2001

NATCHEZ — Miss-Lou residents will get a chance to make their homes safer places Monday during a free gunlock giveaway at the Natchez Mall.

The national program, known as Project HomeSafe, began on Sept. 24 in Mississippi with the endorsement of the National Conference of Lieutenant Governors. The National Shooting Sports Foundation developed the program, which was funded by the firearms industry and the U.S. Department of Justice.

&uot;It’s a program that’s sweeping the nation,&uot; said Adams County Sheriff Tommy Ferrell.

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Right now, gun safety is on many people’s minds, Ferrell said.

For people concerned about gun safety, it’s a great opportunity to get a free gunlock and hopefully save a life by doing so, Ferrell said.

During the annual hunting and Christmas season, gun accidents tend to increase, Ferrell said.

Ferrell, who traveled to Jackson for the kickoff of the Mississippi effort, thinks this makes Monday’s gunlock giveaway even more appropriate.

&uot;It’s a very timely thing this time of year to draw attention to gun safety,&uot; Ferrell said.

Those who visit Project HomeSafe the van will be able to take a firearms safety class, see a safety video and view other information on gun safety. Children who visit will be asked to sign the Project HomeSafe Pledge for their parents.

The pledge is their commitment to be safe around firearms.

Laurie Lindenbaum, of the Bean Agency, a public relations company promoting Project HomeSafe, said this was even more important at Christmas time when children tend to search their houses for hidden Christmas presents.

&uot;The last thing you want is for them to stumble on a loaded firearm,&uot; she said.

The pledge encourages children to stay away from firearms even if their family does not own them.

Those who visit the van will also receive a free firearms safety kit that includes a cable-style gunlock and a safety brochure. The lock fits many types of firearms and requires a gun to be unloaded before it can be installed.

The Project HomeSafe van will be parked from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday in front of J.C. Penney at the Natchez Mall.