Local News

Durham Police Shell Out Gun Locks to Keep Kids Safe

Posted October 9, 1998

— Durham police gave parents free gun locks Saturday and provided instruction on how to use them.

Officers say if you love your kids you'll lock your guns. They know what can happen when you mix children and loaded guns. Durham police want to make it easier for parents to save their children's lives.

"We're doing this to help keep our kids safe," says Durham Police Cpl. William Mayfield.

It's like a horrible nightmare that plays out again and again, each time in a different family's home.

  • February in Robeson County, a 10-year-old boy accidentally shot and killed his 5-year-old brother.
  • May in Johnston County, a 5-year-old boy died from a shotgun blast to the chest. He and his brother were alone when the gun went off.
  • July in Orange County, children in one neighborhood were playing with a gun when it went off and seriously injured a 13-year-old boy.

    In all cases, loaded guns were left where children could get their hands on them. Police say that is a deadly mistake. Saturday, Durham police came out to help stop parents from ever making that mistake.

    "When some of the kids are playing around their parent's house or neighbor's house, they come across firearms that are not secured, and tragedy will happen most of the time," Mayfield said. "We're trying to prevent something like that from happening in our city."

    The parents also found out that another way to keep guns from their children is to lock them up in a metal gun storage box.

    It is illegal in North Carolina to leave a loaded gun within reach of a minor. People can also find gun locks at discount stores for a few dollars each. Reporter: Todd HauerPhotographer: Chad Flowers

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