Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

Free gun locks can put the safety on

David Cresap of Crosshair Gun Shop discusses gun safety and how to install cable-style gun locks at his store Monday. CNJ staff photo: Jack King.

Three Curry County law enforcement agencies will receive free gun locks today from the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The agencies will then offer them for distribution to local residents.

“Anybody who is interested in a gun safety lock, just come to the sheriff’s office and if we haven’t gotten them delivered we will get their name and make sure they have one,” said Sheriff Roger Hatcher, who said his department also received gun safety locks in previous years.

Hatcher said the gun locks being distributed are cable-style locks that go through the gun barrel and make firing the gun impossible. He encourages anyone with children at home to take advantage of the free gun lock program if they don’t already have one.

“You just can’t have a gun without teaching kids about guns,” Hatcher said. “They are naturally inquisitive, they will get into them if you leave them out and available and accidents will happen.”

Clovis Police Chief Bill Carey said his department is pleased to have gun locks available.

“What happens is these locks are put on the triggers so children cannot pick up a gun,” Carey said. “Guns should never be put where children can get them and should never be loaded. These will just help keep children from getting a gun.”

A press release from the National Shooting Sports Foundation said free gun locks will also be given to the Texico Police Department, but representatives of that department couldn’t be reached for comment.

David Cresap, owner of Crosshair Gun Shop in Clovis, said he tries to promote responsible gun usage.

“When people come in, I try to explain to them the function of a firearm,” Cresap said. “I always ask if they have children and I tell them to store the ammunition separate from the gun.

“Most of the gun people know that by instinct, but there are many people who don’t handle guns safely.”

According to the announcement by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, agencies around New Mexico will receive 137,800 free gun locks as part of its Project ChildSafe initiative, funded by a national $50 million grant from the United States Department of Justice that will distribute 20 million gun locks.

In New Mexico, the grant is coordinated by local law enforcement agencies, the New Mexico Department of Health, Injury Prevention and Emergency Medical Services Bureau. and the New Mexico Department of Game and Fish.