Cape police distribute more than 400 gunlocks to citizens
Cape Coral police began handing out free gunlocks Friday in response to the tragic shooting death of 14-year-old Colton Hutchinson last month.
By Monday, they had given more than 400 locks to area residents, according to officials.
Hutchinson was reportedly accidentally shot by his 12-year-old friend with a gun belonging to David Casman, the 12-year-old’s father, inside Casman’s home Dec. 8.
Casman has been charged with culpable negligence because, according to police, he allowed the youths access to two unlocked firearms in the home.
Due to a large citizen response, the Cape Coral Police Department has ordered an additional 500 gun locks, which will be made available when they arrive, said Police Chief Rob Petrovich in a prepared statement Tuesday.
“There obviously was a critical need in our community for these safety devices,” Petrovich said.
Officer Gerald Moll pushed to acquire free gun locks for Cape Coral residents as part of the “Project ChildSafe” initiative.
Project ChildSafe is a component of a Bush administration’s effort to deter gun violence, called “Project Safe Neighborhoods.”
The gun locks will likely arrive in several weeks, according to city spokesperson Connie Barron.
There are additional gun safety instructions owners of firearms should consider, Barron said.
“Placing a lock on your handgun, rifle, shotgun or any firearm is one step that can potentially save a life,” added Petrovich. “However, proper gun safety includes other actions that can help protect an innocent person from harm.”
The Cape Coral Police Department suggests the following for proper gun safety:
— Treat all firearms as if they are loaded.
— Know your firearm and its safety features.
— Unload, clean and secure your firearm after each use.
— Use gun locks, firearm case and/or a firearm safe to safely store your firearm.
— Keep ammunition and firearm stored at different locations.
— Dismantle firearms that cannot be secured properly, and store parts at different locations.
— Take a firearms safety course.
— Contact your local police department for proper destruction of unwanted firearms.
— Document model and serial numbers of all firearms.
— Report all lost or stolen firearms to your local police department.
As the gun locks become available, residents can acquire them at the front desk in the main lobby of the Cape Coral Police Department, located at 815 Nicholas Parkway E.
For more information, residents can call the CCPD Crime Prevention Office at 242-3710.