Lock It For Love
Lock It For Love (LIFL) is a gun safety education initiative launched by GAGV in July 2017 to prevent injuries and deaths from accidental shootings or suicides when curious children, despondent teens, or older adults with dementia gain access to unlocked loaded guns in homes. It is based on the success of a similar initiative developed by St. Louis-based Women’s Voices Raised for Social Justice.
Trained GAGV volunteers attend community events offering information about safe gun storage and providing free gun locks to parents, grandparents or other adults who have children living in or visiting their homes. Our volunteers are accompanied by a police officer who demonstrates how to properly use the lock and answer questions about safe gun storage.
In our first year, we brought our message of safe gun storage to people attending more than 40 events across the metropolitan Kansas City area and distributed more than 800 free gun locks, in partnership with police officers from Kansas City and Independence in Missouri, and Kansas City, Overland Park and Gardner in Kansas. It’s a wonderful way to give back to the community and, we hope, save lives.
What You Can You Do to Prevent Accidental Shootings?
If you own one or more guns:
- Make sure they are not loaded.
- Use a gun lock on each weapon and store in a locked cabinet.
- Lock ammunition in a place separate from the guns.
Even if you don’t own a gun:
- Ask the adults in homes where your children play if there are guns on the premises.
- Ask how the guns are stored.
- If you are not comfortable with the answers you get, offer your own home as an alternative play site.
A child 14 and under dies from an unintentional shooting every seven days in the US.
Kids are curious. They love to explore. They usually don’t have trouble finding a hidden gun. Even if you think they don’t know there’s a gun in the house, there is a good chance they do… and will find it.
Some kids can’t tell the difference between a “play” gun and a real one. Children as young as three may be strong enough to pull the trigger on a handgun.
Unlocked guns in the home can cause other problems.
Depressed teenagers can become suicidal, or arguments between family members can get out of control.
P.O.Box 11193 Overland Park, KS 66207
(Sources: the American Academy of Pediatrics & The Agency for Healthcare Research & Quality)