SAN ANTONIO – As part of a wider set of gun safety measures, 17,000 gun locks are now available for free to Bexar County gun owners.
Standing side-by-side, officials from the University Health System, Via Metropolitan Transit, Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff, and Bexar County Sheriff Javier Salazar unveiled both an advertising campaign promoting the safe storage of firearms and the availability of the trigger and cable locks that make that safe storage possible.
The locks were paid for with a county grant to the University Health Fund, and VIA is providing free advertisement for the “Be Smart, Keep Children Safe, Secure Your Guns" campaign, a county spokeswoman said.
“We just want to make sure the kiddos are safe,” Salazar said. “It’s not a matter of taking anybody’s guns. It’s not a matter of infringing on anybody’s rights.”
To highlight the importance of safe firearm handling, Salazar mentioned two accidental shooting incidents involving minors during his remarks.
On Sep. 28, a 13-year-old was killed after being shot in the head by a 14-year-old with an AR-15 style rifle. The 14-year-old was arrested for manslaughter, and his grandfather was arrested for making the weapon available to the teen.
On Nov. 14, two teens were shot with the same round while “carelessly handling” a gun, Salazar said. Both survived their injuries.
“As we know, bullets don’t discriminate, and once it leaves the barrel of that gun, there’s no calling it back - no matter what you do,” Salazar said.
The locks and ad campaign are part of the initiatives officials unveiled in September. Other measures include a voluntary gun turn-in program and no more gun shows at the county-owned Freeman Coliseum. Wolff said the last gun show there was held in 2016.
“There’s only a few things that we can do at the local level that we have the authority to, and so we’re stepping up to do what we can do to help protect people in our community,” Wolff said.
The locks are available at the BCSO East and West Substations and at various events, including the Dec. 11 Holiday Safety Fair. Salazar said residents can also ask deputies for a lock.
For more information, visit the Gun Safety 4 Bexar website.