ST. LOUIS – It’s a simple device that can save many lives – a gun lock. And on Monday afternoon, local nonprofits were trying to get these in the hands of people who might need one.
The Boys and Girls Club of Greater St. Louis hosted a gun lock giveaway during National Crime Victims’ Rights Week.
“It’s a national movement to support victims of crimes. The victim’s rights movement started in the 1970s, so this is just that week to honor where we started and we’re we are going as far as victims’ rights are concerned,” says Katie Dalton, Executive Director the Crime Victim’s Center. “So, we try to do a gun lock giveaway every year and we have this new partnership through Arches called the Neighborhood Healing Network. So, we wanted to partner together and bring some more safety as far as gun locks to people.”
The gun lock giveaway is co-hosted by the Neighborhood Healing Network housed at Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater St. Louis, which is a hub for the new program.
The hubs will work with Alive & Well Communities and Crime Victim Center to organize educational programming for the public about abuse, victim rights, laws, violence, and available trauma-informed care. Helping with everything from case management to crime victim services, and in Monday’s case, preventive measures.
During Saturday’s giveaway at the Boys and Girls Club Herbert Hoover location, 44 gun locks were given away for free. And 88 gun locks were given away in total over the two-day event.
“So, we hear a lot in the news about people who have accidentally gotten hurt by a gun that could have been prevented by having a gun lock,” says Alexandra Young, violence intervention specialist for the Neighborhood Healing Network. “We’re trying to help prevent future violence from happening. So that’s why we’re teaming up with the Crime Victim’s Center for free to whomever wants one without any questions asked.”
“So that’s why we try and partner with Boys and Girls club,” says Dalton. “We know there’s a lot of foot traffic coming in and out of here. Our main office is next to Fox and not easy to get to sometimes. Partnering with someone on something like this we know we’re going to potentially hit a lot more people who want those gun locks in their home.”