A PROGRAM OF THE NATIONAL SHOOTING SPORTS FOUNDATION

A free way to protect your kids from guns

MOBILE, AL (WALA) -

It has been more than a year since we first told you free gun locks were available at local police stations. The original list of those departments was Satsuma, Chickasaw, Saraland, and Daphne. We are updating that list for you now after a 3-year-old remains in the hospital because he was accidentally shot in the head.

Four police departments in Mobile still offer the free gun locks program: Mobile, Satsuma, Chickasaw, and Daphne. Only two of them actually have the locks ready to pick up: Mobile and Daphne. If you want a free lock for your gun, you can pick one up at either of those departments. Chickasaw and Satsuma say they plan on ordering more soon.

At the Daphne Police Department, the locks are part of a project called Project Child Safe. The project is sponsored by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. It gives police departments free gun locks for you to use on your guns at home. Lt. Jud Beedy with the Daphne Police Department says the locks are doing they're job.

"We always mention to people whenever the subject comes up that we've got their free gun locks and they work so, if they ever need them come and get them."

The locks are meant to teach children that guns are not toys and should not be played with. The purpose of the lock is simple: to stop the gun from firing, even if a child does get a hold of one. "It forces the gun into a position where it can't be used so there's no bullets in the gun," Lt. Beedy explained.

Here's how they work: Empty the bullets from the gun first. The lock cable goes through the handle to block the slide on top of the gun from closing. Lock it, then hide the key. Even if a child did find a way to put a bullet in the gun, it still wouldn't fire the bullet. Each lock comes with its own instruction manual for different types of guns like shotguns, pistols, rifles, and revolvers.

Lt. Beedy hopes the guns have helped saved lives. "You know I would like to think that, but, how can you really prove that." He said there have been no incidents of accidental shootings with a child in Daphne. The Daphne Police Department has around 100 locks left.

Original story on WSFA 12.