The shooting massacre in Connecticut has permeated nearly every conversation I’ve had in the last week. I think many of us are still reeling from the tragedy, and wondering what we as individuals can do to prevent such a horrible situation from happening again.
Flathead County Sheriff Chuck Curry is also aware of the public sentiment. According to Curry, concealed weapon permit applications jumped from the usual 20 per week to 80 last week. Deputies are answering calls from residents who have questions about school and business safety.
One of the immediate steps any gun owner should take is to secure their firearms at home, Curry said. The guns used in the Connecticut shooting – a semi-automatic AR-15, a Glock 10mm, and a Sig Sauer 9mm – were not in a safe, were not hidden and did not have locks on them.
“This message is to ensure and remind you to have gun locks for every gun you own or control. Every gun purchased from a licensed gun dealer must be sold with a lock, it’s the law,” Curry said. “Trigger locks are model specific, whereas cable locks work on handguns or long guns. The locks not only secure the weapon from children, but they cannot be operated unless unlocked by key.”
The Flathead County Sheriff’s Office is providing free Master Lock Gun Lock kit to local residents through a partnership with Flathead Suicide Prevention and Safe Kids – Safe Communities. The gun locks can be picked up at the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office located on the first floor of the Justice Center at 920 South Main Street in Kalispell, or at the Flathead City-County Heath-Department on the first floor located at 1035 First Ave. West in Kalispell, at the Health Promotion Desk.
“We encourage residents to pick up a Master Lock Gun Lock kit so that they can securely store their firearm,” Curry said. “The locks fit on most types of handguns, rifles, and shotguns. The goal is to prevent a child or any other unauthorized person from accessing a firearm in your home.”
“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with all the families and loved ones affected by the recent tragedies,” Curry said.