County police announce gun lock program
Wednesday, 17 October 2012 11:21

Program aims to keep guns away from kids

by Ben Boehl

    In the wake of two gun-related incidents at county public schools, Baltimore County Police Chief Jim Johnson said he believes that the incidents at Perry Hall High School and Stemmers Run Middle School could have been prevented if the guns were locked away from the children involved, and he wrote on the Baltimore County Now blog that it’s the responsibility of the gun owners to secure those weapons.
    “Both the Perry Hall High and Stemmers Middle incidents occurred because kids were able to obtain a gun. In the Stemmers Run case, the grandfather of the boy who brought the handgun to school was charged for violating Maryland law, which requires that gun owners secure loaded firearms from children 15 and younger,” Johnson wrote.         “The law did not apply in the Perry Hall shooting, because the suspect’s father’s shotgun was kept unloaded,” he noted.
    Johnson added that keeping guns away and locked in a safe place is a good idea, but it’s not always that practical and sometimes not affordable.         To help keep guns locked away, Johnson announced on the blog that the county has started a new gun lock distribution program.

“The program is simple. We are making a basic but law enforcement-tested gun lock available – free of charge – at all 10 police precincts and the Public Safety Building in Towson,” Jonson explained. “Gun owners who show proof that they are Baltimore County residents may receive up to three locks.”
    Gun owners will be provided free cable locks for their guns. Johnson stated that 2,000 gun locks were purchased by the county after the non-profit Baltimore County Police Foundation gave $4,700 to help the county purchase the lock.
    “The locks — available immediately — are easy to use and compatible with most handguns and long guns. When you visit a precinct or the Public Safety Building to obtain a lock, our officers will demonstrate how to use it and will include instructions with the locking device,” Johnson added.
    “With this new program, there simply is no excuse for leaving firearms unsecured.”