Metro Council and LMPD hope giving out gun locks will protect ki - WDRB 41 Louisville News

Metro Council and LMPD hope giving out gun locks will protect kids

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LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) -- Gun locks may not stop street-level violence in Louisville, but LMPD and Metro Council are hoping they will save the lives of children.

"When we talk about gun safety, we can get a handle on that," said Luther Brown, a gun safety advocate.

Brown knows first-hand that gun violence is not just limited to the streets.

"Parents, uncles, aunts and grandparents are storing their guns fully-loaded and unlocked," Brown.

A tragic case that Brown is connected to has not gone to trial yet.

His 8-year old grandson, Andre O'Neal Jr.,  was killed in January.

"This has always been my passion," Brown said.

In the case involving O'Neal, Jr., a man said he dropped a gun and it fired.

"It is really one of my goals to make sure that every house has a gun lock if you have a baby in that house," Brown said.

Brown spreads the message through a program he created called "Little Hands, Little Feet" which teaches children gun safety.

On Tuesday, LMPD's 2nd Division received 300 gun locks. Police say the locks can protect children and adults, especially when a gun is stolen.

"It is fantastic to be able to render that gun inoperable for the thief who could potentially go out and use it for another crime," Lt. Shawn Hensler said.

"I personally experienced the loss of a loved one, a child, because of an accidental killing," Metro Councilwoman Mary Woolridge said.

The locks were purchased by Metro council members David James, Jessica Green, David Tandy, Cheri Bryant Hamilton and Woolridge, who also has a tragic personal connection.

"We know these gun locks would had been on the gun, this child would have been here to enjoy Christmas," Woolridge said.

That's why Brown says before the next play date or sleep over, parents need to ask a lifesaving question.

"You've got to ask that question," he said. "If I am going to let my children go to your house, and I know you have a gun, I am going to make sure you have one of these."

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