The Chief
May 23, 2003

PBA Offering Gun Locks To All City Cops

By Mark Daly

The Patrolmen’s Benevolent Association is handing out gun-locks to every uniformed member of the Police Department to promote the safe storage of firearms in officers’ homes.

The union’s announcement comes in the wake of the death of an officer’s teenage son in April in an accidental shooting.

Justice Dept. Program

The 33,000 locks have been donated by Project ChildSafe, a safety initiative by the U.S. Justice Department and a gun industry association.

The locks resemble the wire cords used to lock up bicycles. The cord can be threaded through the magazine and firing mechanism of an unloaded gun, making it impossible to use.

The locks are commonly sold at gun stores for about $10, but Mr. Lynch – who is up for re-election this month – said his members are paid to little to afford them. Police Officers get training in gun safety when they are issued their service revolvers, but they aren’t given locks, he noted.

“We are urging all our members to actively use this,” Mr. Lynch said.

Operation ChildSafe has enlisted police unions and local departments to distribute locks to civilian gun owners since 1999, but the PBA donation marks the first time the group has turned its attention to cops themselves, said Doug Painter, the president of the National Sports Shooting Foundation.