Harris County reminds public about free gun locks after recent child shootings

By Syan Rhodes - Anchor/Reporter, Joel Eisenbaum - Investigative Reporter

HARRIS COUNTY, Texas - In light of recent shootings, all of which appear to be accidental, of very young children in Harris County, Sheriff Adrian Garcia reminded gun owners that his office gives out free gun locks.

"These safety devices you can get from the Sheriff's Office for free. They don't cost you anything, but the inconvenience of a phone call or a drive," said Sheriff Garcia.

There have been three child shootings, two of them fatal, in the last four days around Harris County. All three cases are under investigation.

Precinct 4 Constable Ron Hickman also announced his office will make gun locks free of charge until they run out. The locks may be obtained by contacting the Harris County Constable Pct. 4 Training Division Monday through Friday between the hours of 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. Adults must show up in person to obtain up to two free gun locks per family and visit with a member of our training division staff. You will be provided with firearms safety tips along with your free gun locks.

The Sheriff's Office advises the public that if you are going to keep a firearm in your home it should always be stored in a locked safe, gun vault, or storage case, and out of the reach of children. In addition to storing a firearm in a locked location, use gun locks for added safety.

"If you've got a firearm in your home, long gun, rifle or handgun, whether a child is in your home or not, I ask you, use these safety devices early and often," said Sheriff Garcia.

Ammunition should also be stored in a locked location separate from the firearm.

Talk to your children about gun safety:

  • If you find a gun in your house, or anywhere else, stop.
  • Do not touch the gun or allow anyone else to touch it.
  • Leave the area where the gun is.
  • Immediately tell an adult.
  • Even if a gun looks like a toy, don't touch it. Some real guns look like toy guns, so don't take a chance. Leave the area and immediately tell an adult.

If you choose to keep a firearm for home security, please make it so the firearm is readily available to you, yet inaccessible or inoperative to others. Consider special lockable cases that can be quickly opened only by authorized individuals.

In Texas, a person commits an offense if a child under 17 gains access to a readily dischargeable firearm and the person with criminal negligence failed to secure it or left it in a place to which the person knew or should have known the child would gain access.

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