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State Agencies Collaborate to Help Protect Children from Unintentional Firearm Injuries

Free Gun Locks Available at MDHHS Offices Statewide 

LANSING, MICH. – The Michigan State Police (MSP) and Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) announced today they are partnering together to protect children from unsecured firearms. Using $500,000 in state funding appropriated in the FY24 MSP budget, the MSP facilitated the purchase of 75,000 cable-style gun locks from Project ChildSafe that will be available for free at MDHHS county offices starting today and some local health departments while supplies last. All MDHHS offices should have gun locks available no later than June.

In 2020, firearms injuries became the number one cause of death for children in the United States and Michigan, surpassing motor vehicle deaths and those caused by other injuries.

“We are partnering with Michigan State Police, local MDHHS offices and our local health departments, to help prevent these tragedies and keep Michigan children and families safe from firearm violence,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “Our department is devoted to improving the safety and well-being of Michigan children, as outlined in our Keep Kids Safe Action Agenda, and actions such as implementing gun locks are going to make a difference when it comes to prevention efforts around firearm safety.”

Public Act 17 of 2023, which took effect Feb. 13, 2024, generally requires individuals to keep stored or unattended firearms unloaded and locked with a locking device or stored in a locked box or container if it is known or reasonably should be known that a minor is, or is likely to be, present on the premises.

“Under Michigan’s newly enacted Safe Storage (Child Access Prevention) Law, individuals can be held criminally responsible for improperly storing or leaving unattended a firearm where a minor is present or likely to be present if the minor obtains the firearm,” said Col. James F. Grady II, director of the MSP. “Because this law seeks to prevent injuries and deaths, we want to make safe storage as easy and accessible as possible so in addition to obtaining a gun lock from many police agencies, Michiganders can now also come into a MDHHS office to pick one up, no questions asked.”

Michigan residents can visit their local MDHHS office to request one of the free gun locks while supplies last, and they can also check with their local health department, some of which will have gun locks available. MDHHS staff who make home visits will also be able to access gun locks if a client has a need or wants to request one. 

Free gun locks can also be obtained through Project ChildSafe police partners across the state.

Gun lock installation instructions are included within the product’s packaging and available on the Project ChildSafe website.


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