NC Safe Week: Free gun lock giveaway at Durham County Courthouse

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Tuesday, June 4, 2024
Free gun locks are being given away as part of NC Safe Week
"The number one cause of death for people under 18 is firearms," Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry said.

DURHAM, N.C. (WTVD) -- The Durham County Department of Public Health is partnering with the county District Attorney's Office hosted a free gun lock giveaway on Tuesday.

The event is part of the NC S.A.F.E week of action, which lasts through Saturday, June 8. It comes as a statewide initiative to raise awareness of the importance of securely storing firearms.

Organizers hope the demand from concerned gun owners is as strong as last year's.

While acknowledging the need to keep guns off the street, Durham County District Attorney Satana Deberry said she hopes the free gun locks will also prevent death and injury where people should feel safe.

"The number one cause of death for people under 18 is firearms," she said. "That's not street violence necessarily. It's suicide. Children who find unsecured guns in their homes, become curious and play with them, and then shoot themselves, or their siblings, or friends. That is a huge public health issue. And we want everyone not just to be safe on the street, we want everybody to be safe in their homes."

This is happening after two shootings -- one on Club Boulevard and one on Wabash Street -- in Durham Monday night.

Durham Police Department shared its latest crime report last week. Overall, violent crime is up in the first quarter. But if you drill down on the numbers themselves, it is up according to the Durham Police Department specifically because of the robbery category.

The report also showed homicide and shooting numbers are both down. However, residents said gun violence is still a major issue in Bull City.

WATCH | Durham Police release first quarter crime numbers; violent crime is up

Property crime is up significantly in Durham.

This is also the second annual 'North Carolina Safe Week.' It's also a response to more gun thefts from cars and the alarming rate of firearm-related deaths and injuries among young people across the state.

The free locks were available between 9 a.m. and 12 p.m. at the Durham County Courthouse.