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Major milestone reached in State Gun Safety

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The Illinois Department of Public Health (IDPH) has announced a major milestone in its effort to promote firearm safety: the agency has now provided more than 100,000 free gun locks since the statewide initiative began less than a year ago.

In partnership with Illinois State Police and the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, IDPH launched the “Together for a Safer Illinois” campaign to help gun owners secure their weapons and make sure their firearms do not fall into the wrong hands. The initiative is intended to prevent access to firearms by children, those who are not trained in the safe use of a weapon, or those who might use the gun to harm themselves or others.
“IDPH is thrilled to see the public interest in our gun lock distribution program,” said IDPH Director Dr. Sameer Vohra. “Preventing gun violence and injury is a critical public health goal, and gun locks are an important tool to prevent accidental shootings, gun violence, and suicide. 100,000 distributed gun locks are only the start of this important initiative. As IDPH and our partners work Together for a Safer Illinois, we look forward to continuing our gun lock distribution at events across Illinois this spring and summer.”
IDPH has partnered with local health departments and community groups across Illinois to make gun locks available at a variety of public events since the program was initiated in June 2023. The locks include installation instructions for auto-loading pistols, revolvers, auto-loading and pump-action shotguns, bolt action rifles, modern sports rifles, and single action revolvers. The locks also come with information about the national 988 suicide and crisis lifeline.
IDPH and its partners plan to continue the gun lock giveaway at events across Illinois, including summer festivals, county fairs, back-to-school events, community outreach programs, health fairs, suicide prevention awareness events, National Night Out events, and the Illinois and DuQuoin State Fairs. Local health departments and community organizations can get more information about offering free gun locks in their communities atIDPH/VIPS Gun Lock Request Form (smartsheet.com) or by visiting the IDPH gun safety webpage at Gun Safety (illinois.gov).
The effort is part of IDPH’s ongoing commitment to firearms safety, which also includes the “Pause to Heal” campaign launched this spring to increase awareness of firearms restraining orders (FROs). An FRO is a way for family, household members, or law enforcement to ask a court to restrict a person’s access to guns, ammunition, and firearm parts when that person poses a significant danger to themselves or others. An FRO is a tool to buy time in a crisis situation and empowers families and law enforcement to prevent gun violence and firearm-related suicide. Learn more about FROs and IDPH’s gun safety efforts at Firearm Restraining Orders (illinois.gov).

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