Thursday morning, the Duluth Police Department announced a partnership with Be SMART for Kids so that they can provide free gun locks to gun owners, specifically those who have minors at their residence.

The Be SMART campaign was launched to raise awareness that secure gun storage can save children’s lives. Specifically, this involves storing guns locked, unloaded and separate from ammunition.

The Be SMART campaign emphasizes that it’s an adult responsibility to keep kids from accessing guns, and that every adult can play a role in keeping kids and communities safer. They note that every year, hundreds of children in the United States gain access to firearms and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else, which are tragedies that can be avoided.

If that's not sad enough, every year, nearly 700 children, 17 and under, die by suicide with a gun.

As a gun owner, I know it's something I take very seriously and we're meticulous about safe gun storage, but sadly not all people are as diligent. The hope is that by providing free gun locks that are easily obtained, safe gun storage will become a habit for more gun owners across the Northland.

To help keep children in our community safe from unsecured guns, the Duluth Police Department has partnered with Be SMART for Kids to provide free gun locks to those in our community. This is one simple thing we all can do to be responsible gun owners and keep everyone safe around guns.

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Gun owners can pick up their free gun lock Public Safety Building, located at 2030 North Arlington Drive in Duluth.

The Public Safety Building is open Monday - Friday from 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.

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