Got a gun—get a lock.
That was the prevailing message given by Sheriff Jewell Williams today at a press conference at Temple University Hospital to announce the coming together of several entities pushing for the use of gun locks, and stressing how even a few seconds between pulling the trigger and thinking about it can possibly save a life.
The press conference was held at the Ontario East Lobby of Temple University Hospital, literally just yards from the emergency ward and trauma center where so many of the victims of gun violence are treated in Philadelphia.
“We transport more than 500 people per day back and forth between the courts and the prisons,” said Sheriff Williams, “and many are charged with crimes involving guns. Before anger gets to a point of reaching for a gun, if that gun is in a lock, it provides at least a few seconds an individual may change their mind about firing that weapon, and makes it almost impossible to fire if found, and handled by a child. Got a gun—get a lock”.
Sheriff Williams stood with City Council President Darrell L. Clarke, City Council Public Safety Chair Curtis Jones, Jr., District Attorney Seth Williams, Scott Charles of the Cradle to Grave Program, Temple University’s Dr. Amy Goldberg, Shira Goodman of CeaseFire PA, Dorothy Johnson Speight of Mothers in Charge, and Bilal Quayyum of the Father’s Day Rally Committee in calling for more awareness of gun safety.
“This hospital (Temple University),” is ground zero for trauma patients,” said City Council President Clarke. “It is the place where so many people come after being shot”.
A bill was recently enacted by City Council entitled the “Responsibility to Avoid Possession and Discharge of Firearms by Children” act (introduced by Council President Clarke) that requires all firearms in homes with children under the age of 18 to be kept unloaded and stored in a locked container, with the ammunition in a separate locked container. The exception would be when the firearm or ammunition is in the "immediate control" of a person with a license to carry a gun.
Meanwhile, free gun locks will be passed today by the Office of the Sheriff of Philadelphia City & County as part of its National Night Out kickoff initiative, at Fair Hill Square Park, 4th Street and Lehigh Avenue from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m. and at the Rose Playground, 75th and Lansdowne Avenue from 5 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Free gun locks will also be passed out on August 2nd at:
- 32nd and Cumberland Streets from 5 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.
- 53rd and Parkside Avenue from 5:30 p.m. to 8 p.m.
- 2300 N. 17th Street from 6 p.m. to 8:45 p.m.