Northwest NEWS

April 3, 2000

Local News

Bothell, Duvall give away gun locks

   KING COUNTY--On Thursday, March 30, eight King County cities launched Project Homesafe, the nation's most comprehensive firearms safety and gun lock giveaway program.

   Sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), the project was adopted on Thursday by the cities of Bothell, Des Moines, Duvall, Issaquah, Kirkland, Mercer Island, Sammamish, and Tukwila. Pierce, Snohomish, and Whatcom Counties have also signed up to participate in the program, and will launch the progam later this spring.

   Project Homesafe began last September in five pilot cities: Las Vegas, Oakland, Orlando, Pittsburgh, and Augusta. Since then, the program has distributed over 70,000 free gun locks and firearms safety pamphlets to residents of more than 30 cities and counties across the country. Over 120 additional cities and counties, including Houston, Philadelphia, and San Diego, are scheduled to join the program in the coming months.

   "It's our goal to help prevent a senseless tragedy from happening in our community by promoting gun safety through Project Homesafe," said Bothell Police Chief Mark L. Ericks. "Properly storing a firearm with use of a gun lock device can help save lives."

   Project Homesafe is designed to promote safe gun handling and secure storage practices among all firearms owners. The program is a public-private partnership involving the NSSF, city officials, and police departments across the country. Each Project Homesafe partner is free to decide how to manage the program, which has repeatedly proven to benefit police departments that want to spread the word about responsible firearms' ownership.

   "We are very pleased and encouraged by the reception Project Homesafe has received across the country," said Doug Painter, executive director of the NSSF. "This program is an important step forward in helping ensure that all firearms' owners fully understand their responsibilities in respect to the safe handling and secure storage of firearms."

   The initial objective of the program is to make Project Homesafe available to all interested communities and their police departments. The number of locking devices provided is based on local requirements.

   As the program develops, NSSF will seek to gain corporate or other sponsors to provide additional gun locks as needed.

   Any police departments interested in obtaining information about launching a Project Homesafe program can call 206-386-5620 or 1-800-726-6444, or visit the Project Homesafe website at www.projecthomesafe.org.