HAMPTON, Va. (WAVY) — Peninsula leaders are working to help gun owners safely store their firearms.
The ‘Locking in Safety: Stop the Violence’ event is next Sunday Sep. 17 from 1 to 5 p.m.
Everyone is invited to come out and get a free gunlock at Aberdeen Elementary. There will also be a raffle for a gun vault and a gun cabinet to properly store firearms.
“We have more guns than we do people in the United States,” said Thomas Alston of Deen Ball Sports LLC. “We have enough firearms already. This message is to just encourage and bring awareness to adults who are firearm owners to lock it and store it properly. A simple cable gun lock can prevent a lot of unfortunate situations.”
Alston said the Richneck school shooting, where a 6-year-old shot his teacher in the chest, pushed him to organize this event.
“We can’t blame the children for being inquisitive,” Alston said, “and if they stumble and find your firearm, that ownership and responsibility is on us adults because we didn’t store it correctly.”
The event will bring together Hampton city leaders, including Moms Demand Action, the Hampton Commonwealth’s Attorney’s office, Hampton police and the city’s sheriff’s office. The partnership is to continue the Operation Ceasefire initiative.
“We have enough negative images of guns on social media, video games and television,” he said. “So, why not provide an alternative message on how to safely handle [a firearm]?”
The event is made possible through a gun violence prevention grant to the Office of Youth and Young opportunities.
School supplies will also be given to kids to ensure a successful and safe school year.
If you would like to donate a cable gun lock and help Alston reach its goal of 1,000 gunlocks, email email@example.com.