L.A. County Offering Free Gun Locks

Securing your firearm does more than just keep guns out of young but curious hands. It also makes it less attractive to criminals who might not want to have to deal with defeating something like a gun lock.

No, it won’t guarantee your firearm will be left alone–they can be removed, after all, and in relative privacy–but it might help. It’ll definitely help prevent unauthorized members of the household from getting it.

Yet the question is whether it’ll reduce violent crime or not.

I’m inclined to think such things only do so if everyone does their part and, frankly, a lot of people simply won’t for whatever reason.

Regardless, a lot of people hope I’m wrong. L.A. County officials, for example, who are offering free gun locks to hopefully curtail violent crime.

Survivors of gun violence gathered at a news conference at the Rancho Los Amigos National Rehabilitation Center on Tuesday morning to share one message: It is preventable.
To that end, Los Angeles County public health officials announced that the county is offering free gun safety locks to residents. Designed for use on unloaded weapons, gun locks cover the trigger and require a key or combination to open.
Addressing a small crowd, L.A. County Public Health Director Barbara Ferrer said, “In Los Angeles County, a child is killed or injured by gun violence every 30 hours.”
“In 2022, more than 300 residents in L.A. County died by gun suicide, and 510 residents died after being shot by someone with a gun,” Ferrer said.
Ferrer went on to say that too many families have experienced the pain of losing a child, parent or sibling because guns were “readily available in the home, loaded and unlocked.”

And, to be fair, that does happen way too often.

But Los Angeles has more problems than a few unsecured firearms. Most of those lives lost, the more than 800 provided as grounds for this giveaway? Yeah, they didn’t get killed because someone didn’t lock their gun up.

Most of the murder victims were killed with black market guns and many of the suicides were people who used their own firearms.

Yes, people should lock their guns up, but I’m more than a little sick of people pretending that unsecured firearms are the primary issue. It’s not. The issue, as it always has been, is that some people want to hurt others and nothing is being done to try and prevent that.

Gun locks are fine and all that, but we shouldn’t overstate the benefits of those locks. They’re not a thousand-pound safe with all the guns safely inside, something that’s far harder to just throw in a getaway vehicle and move on with one’s life.

Unfortunately, like so many other proposed efforts, people feel like they have to oversell it in order to justify it. Admit that it can help people keep their kids safe and it might deter a criminal from stealing it, but that it’s not a magic bullet. It won’t make all the threats go away, even if they dropped a box off at every front door in the county.

But, that would require acknowledging that the issue is more complex than most folks there want to admit.

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