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MDHHS, MSP remind Michigan families about availability of free gun locks as part of National Gun Violence Awareness Month

As part of National Gun Violence Awareness Month, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services (MDHHS) and Michigan State Police (MSP) are reminding Michigan families about the availability of free gun locks at MDHHS county offices and some local health departments.

Cable-style gun locks from Project ChildSafe are being offered as part of an effort to protect children from unsecured firearms. Purchased using $500,000 in state funding in the FY24 MSP budget, 75,000 gun locks have been made available while supplies last.

“Our department is committed to improving the safety and well-being of Michigan children. We are offering these gun locks to keep children and their families safe from firearm violence,” said Elizabeth Hertel, MDHHS director. “We are pleased that many residents have already stopped in at one of our local offices to get their free gun lock and encourage others to do the same as we work together to promote firearm safety.”

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.

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.

“Feeling safe and secure is something every child and every individual in Michigan deserves. Gun locks save lives,” said Col. James F. Grady II, MSP director. “If you have a firearm in your home, store it properly, away from minors – it’s the law. Safe storage is easy and very accessible. Please visit an MSP Post, your local police department or any MDHHS office to obtain a free gun lock, 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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