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Baltimore County Offering Free Gun Locks

Baltimore County gun owners can walk into any police precinct in the county to receive up to three free gun locks.

With several incidents involving guns in Baltimore County Public Schools this fall, the county has started a new program that should help gun owners secure their weapons.

“This has been a very difficult start of a school year,” said County Executive Kevin Kamenetz. “Now with yesterday’s incident, this is third weapon-related incident in the past eight weeks of school.”

Through a donation from the nonprofit Baltimore County Police Foundation, county residents who own guns can acquire up to three free gun locks by simply walking into any police precinct and showing that they live in the county.

Two Deer Park Middle School students, both 12, are charged with handgun violations after they traded a Bersa 380-caliber handgun for an Xbox and one of them brought ammunition to school Thursday.

In the previous incidents, one student shot a classmate during the first day of school at Perry Hall High School and another student displayed a handgun and threatened his teacher and students at Stemmers Run Middle School in Essex. A student at the Forsbush School at Glyndon in Reisterstown was charged with disturbing school activities and disorderly conduct after he said he had a gun, even though he didn’t.

“None of these incidents were caused by owners who were just being careless,” Kamenetz said. “Frankly, they were caused by owners who were being idiotic.”

He was joined by Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson, Sheriff Jay Fisher and Councilman Ken Oliver at the Frankin Precinct in Reisterstown Friday afternoon to announce the new gun lock program.

“We have an obligation to be proactive to ensure the safety of all our citizens, particularly young individuals,” Johnson said.

The $4,700 donation from the police foundation paid for 2,000 locks, which are compatible with most handguns and long guns.

“Any police station in Baltimore County. Walk right in, show them you’re a Baltimore County resident, we’ll give you up to three of these locks,” Johnson said. “Please use them. We know they work and they’re very, very effective.”

Beyond the gun lock, Johnson suggest to secure the gun so children can’t remove them from hiding spots or take them out of the home. An inexpensive security system Johnson suggested included attaching the gun to an eye bolt using the gun lock and securing the bolt to a fixed structure.

Johnson hopes to keep the program going once the initial 2,000 locks are given out.

“As we begin to exhaust our supply, we’ll look for measures or means to continue this on,” he said. “This is good stuff. This is smart, proactive safety for all our families in our communities, so use these gun locks.”

BlutAusNord October 12, 2012 at 08:10 PM
This is a great idea & probably the first that Kamenetz has ever had in his life.Will wonders never cease.Maybe some of his bright ideas will rub off on O'Malley the idiot.
moe green October 12, 2012 at 09:54 PM
And when the bad guys come to your house, wait 20 minutes for the police to come while you unlock your gun, load it and protect your family, your property and yourself. Remember, It is called the the second amendment, not the second suggestion.
chuck October 12, 2012 at 10:04 PM
it is a good idea but gun owners that have young or immature children in the house should already have there guns locked up or they should never have had guns in the first place
In amazement October 12, 2012 at 11:13 PM
But but but the state requires new guns to be sold with a barrel lock that costs an additional 20 bucks usually from the price of the gun. Furthermore just about every gun made is shipped/sold with some sort of lock already. I mean really...this stinks of a PR move to full those not involved in guns. That's about it. Talk about knee jerk...like making a "Director of Security" position...really..... Glad it's not my tax money.
Evets October 13, 2012 at 12:17 AM
These locks are great for locking a bike for a quick dash into a 7-11 or Royal Farms. Wouldn't use it the bike was out of your sight for more than a couple of minutes, though.
Southland Hills Mom October 13, 2012 at 12:36 AM
What is wrong with people??? How many times do we have to read about the tragedies that happen when guns fall into the hands of young children and troubled youth? A grant from a private foundation makes free gun locks available for responsible gun owners. How can anyone be opposed? If one decides to use a lock to protect their family from harm, it is their business. @moe green: If it indeed takes you 20 minutes to remove a lock from your gun, you are probably lacking both the cognitive and motor skills necessary to use one. Your "little woman and the young'uns" are in more danger being "protected" by you with a gun, than not. For reference, read about the 2 fathers in the last month who have shot their own sons, both times thinking there was a burglar in the house. H
Evets October 13, 2012 at 12:46 AM
Indeed. An armed intruder in your home has a distinct advantage in that he (or she?) may shoot at will with no worries about hitting a 'friendly.' The homeowner is unwise to shoot until and unless he ensures he is not shooting at a family member. In most houses built in the past 20 years, the walls are such that most bullets will easily travel through the wall to the next room unless the round hits a stud. (and by 'stud,' I don't mean a good looking intruder). I am not advising against arming oneself for protection, but there is a lot more to protecting one's home and family than simply opening fire at someone moving about in a dark house.
Bart October 13, 2012 at 01:49 AM
Agreed, but it's just about the best we can do while the big money behind the NRA quashes any attempts to really control guns. Just look at the recent incidences in the schools. I'm sure this is only a minute fraction of the idiots who have their guns unsecured and in easy reach of kids.
Dennis Gilpin October 13, 2012 at 03:18 AM
In theory a very good idea. I hope it helps people be more responsible with their guns.They just have to remember to use them. If they had the money to purchase the guns why did it have to take the county to make it safer to own them ? Every law abiding person should have the right to own a gun for protection. Prosecuting the people who let the guns get in the hands of juveniles sends a message to all gun owners.
Kenny L. October 13, 2012 at 08:48 PM
You can still protect yourself and your family in Maryland. However, if you do have to shoot an intruder, be sure to save the last round for yourself.
Logged in October 13, 2012 at 08:52 PM
I'm amazed that there are people who truly believe this country should be gun free. But then I realize who these people elected to run their county, state, and country. I find it very believable taken out of that context. Sheeple follow the flock. The government will be there to tend to your needs. First they came for our guns, then our books, then our people.
Southland Hills Mom October 15, 2012 at 02:06 AM
Wow... Offer a free gun lock and the next thing you know, the "gubmint" is taking your books away... Yup, that's the conspiracy. Evil lurks in every gubmint plan.... Nobody is trying to take away your gun collection. Nobody is making you lock it up either. Free locks are being offered so that people can be free to lock up their guns, thus freeing a family the heartache of losing a child or other loved one.
Marc Shapiro (Editor) October 15, 2012 at 04:48 AM
A comment with inappropriate language has been removed.
Buzz Beeler October 15, 2012 at 11:12 AM
Good job Marc!

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