New gun safety program planned for the City of St. Louis

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ST. LOUIS - Fox 2/News 11 is learning details about a new program in the works in the City of St. Louis designed to help combat tragedies from unsecured guns.

It involves city hall, the city fire department, and a local non-profit group.

“Responsible gun ownership is an important issue,” said Lewis Reed, President Board of Aldermen.

He is among those pushing the new gun safety initiative which focuses on firefighters and gun locks.

Under the plan, gun locks would be available throughout the city at firehouses.

Firefighters would also have gun locks with them to hand out on calls.

Fire crews would distribute the gun locks when they go to homes to check smoke detector batteries.

“I hope this will help to cut down on gun crimes and gun violence because it`s another one of those things to get at the core of these unsecured firearms making their way out onto the streets,” said Reed.

Reed says the goal is to prevent tragic cases like two recently in St. Louis County.

Just last month, 2-year-old Zion Israel was shot and killed after a gun was left unsecured in her family`s Glasgow Village home.

In September, 3-year-old Rodney March III accidentally shot and killed himself after getting ahold of an unsecured handgun in his family`s North County apartment.

“We are hoping to broaden the availability of gun locks,” said Andrea Bauman with Women`s Voices Raised for Social Justice.

That`s the non-profit group providing the gun locks for this program.

Gun safety is one of the group's missions.

They`ve given away almost 1,300-gun locks at more than 50 events so far this year.

They say this initiative could make a big difference.

“We`ll have their support and they`ll have our support and then it just is going to make much larger and hopefully we`ll be able to reach more people and more kids,” said Bauman.

Reed added, “It will make for a great addition to public safety and responsible gun ownership within our city.”

Organizers hope to have the program up and running by early next year.

Reed tells us it could expand into the county.

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