More than 500 children die annually in the United States as the result of being accidentally shot. Some shoot themselves, while others kill friends or siblings after discovering a gun. The Alton Police Department is handing out free gunlocks this afternoon, to try and help gun owners secure their firearms and prevent future tragedies.
A recent study in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine found 39% of kids knew where their parents' guns were stored, and 22% had handled the weapons despite the adult's warnings to stay away. Alton Police Chief David Hayes says a couple of recent incidents hit close to home.
Officers with the police department will be standing at Statehouse Circle and at the corner of Washington Avenue and Brown Street between 2pm and 6pm this afternoon handing out free gunlocks. There will also be free gunlocks available at the police department on Broadway while supplies last. This is a part of Project CHILDSAFE, a nationwide initiative.