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Cape Police have more gun locks available

By Staff | Mar 11, 2010

The Cape Coral Police Department has free gun locks available for residents who keep firearms in their homes.
The department received the locks through Project ChildSafe, which is a component of Project Safe Neighborhoods. District Resource Officer Jerry Moll said the CCPD acquired 500 locks at the start of the year and another 500 locks a few weeks ago.
There are more than 300 gun locks left to distribute.
“Since January, we went through the original 500, and now we have gotten into the second 500,” he said. “We’ve got several hundred left.”
According to prepared statement, the death of 2-year-old Ian Heath Allen of Fort Myers prompted Moll to request the gun locks. The toddler died after he accidentally shot himself with an unsecured firearm.
“The death of this young boy was a terrible tragedy and as a father, my heart goes out to the family,” Moll said after the fatal shooting. “If a gun lock can save one child’s life, then we must find every opportunity to make these simple, safety devices available.”
The limit is two locks per resident and no identification is required. People who have more than two guns in their homes are encouraged to disassemble and store the additional weapons while they are not in use.
“If you have more than two guns that need to be secured, dismantle or break down the guns,” Moll said. “These gun locks are for weapons that are left out or are in close proximity.”
The locks are available at the front desk in the main lobby of the CCPD, at 815 Nicholas Parkway E. The locks are intended for permanent and seasonal residents, but those who live outside of the Cape will not be turned away.
“We’re definitely not going to deny handing them out to a family that may need them that is outside of our jurisdiction,” Moll said. “We just want to get them out into the public.”
Each gun lock comes with instructions on how to use it.
The CCPD acquired its first batch of the cable-style gun locks in 2009 after Colton Hutchinson, 14, was shot and killed with an unsecured gun in the home of a friend. After the locks were distributed, the CCPD received another 500 from the Charlotte County Sheriff’s Office and handed those out as well.
“I know that these recent incidents that have taken place have brought up some public concern. We’ve had to deal with this locally,” Moll said. “I guess that shows the quantity that we’re giving out, the demand from the public.”
The gun locks are typically picked up by those with youths in their home.
“It’s parents with children in the household,” Moll said. “We’ve also seen grandparents who have grandchildren visiting, and people who want to take an extra step in responsibility in owning a gun.”
He added that it is a gun owner’s responsibility to make sure their weapon is secure, and that the CCPD is trying to help them do that by offering the free gun locks.
“They have this gun. They have to go the step further and take responsibility for the ownership of that gun,” Moll said. “They don’t want it to get into the wrong hands. They don’t want to go the rest of their life knowing that they did not take that responsibility.”
For more information, contact the Crime Prevention Office at 242-3710.