Volunteers hand out 300 free gun locks | NevadaAppeal.com

Volunteers hand out 300 free gun locks

Jill Lufrano

Carson City Sheriff’s Department volunteers handed out an estimated 300 free gun locks to residents Tuesday in an effort to prevent accidental shootings.

Under a tent on the front lawn of the sheriff’s office, volunteers handed out several locks in three hours to people driving by who stopped to pick up the easy-to-install safety devices. The locks were also handed out at the sheriff’s volunteer station at Albertsons grocery on Highway 50 in east Carson.

The turnout was better than expected, said Volunteer Services Coordinator Tom Szupello.

“I thought it was great,” Szupello said.

With high numbers of gun owners, the state ranks high in gun-related deaths. The Violence Policy Center, a national nonprofit educational foundation, reports 49 percent of households in Nevada, Arizona, Colorado, Idaho, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming have firearms.

In 2000, the state reported 30 gun-related deaths of children up to 19 years old.

“Almost everyone has some kind of gun,” Szupello said. “It’s still kind of the Old West around here.”

In Nevada, a permit is required to carry a concealed weapon, but gun purchasers are not required to submit a record of sale, registration or license and there is no waiting period besides the federal one.

Carson City took part in the nationwide event that kicked off Tuesday with Project ChildSafe. The national group is funded by a $50 million grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and plans to distribute 20 million free locks and firearm safety materials to families.

The National Shooting Sports Foundation joined the Nevada Sheriff’s and Chief’s Association, the Nevada Department of Public Safety and the Nevada Department of Wildlife to distribute 109,200 free locks in the state.

Carson City Sheriff’s Department still has 1,000 locks to give away. The cable-style locks can be used to secure revolvers, automatic pistols and rifles.

Anyone interested in obtaining one can visit the department at 901 E. Musser St. in Carson or at the substation at Albertson’s, 3325 Hwy. 50 East.

Contact Jill Lufrano at 881-1217 or jkeller@nevadaappeal.com