Sheriff doesn’t want gunlocks back |

Sheriff doesn’t want gunlocks back

by Christy Chalmers, staff writer

Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini says people worried about potentially defective gun locks his office has handed out should buy their own.

A nationwide program that provides free locks was suspended this week after police found the devices can accidentally spring open. The locks had been distributed by the National Shooting Sports Foundation, based in Connecticut, and Douglas County was the second Nevada county to begin providing them earlier this year.

Pierini said his office had a handful of phone calls about the locks after the program suspension was announced Wednesday, but he isn’t asking residents to turn them in.

“If people feel uncomfortable, go ahead and throw them away and purchase new ones,” he said.

The locks were given away as part of Project HomeSafe and were promoted as a way to keep children safe from weapons. Cables on the locks are pulled through gun handles or barrels to prevent the weapon from being loaded or fired.

The problem with the locks surfaced when an officer in Knoxville, Tenn., realized the locks could spring open if hit or dropped.

Even so, Pierini said the locks are better than nothing. Plus, the program accomplished its main point of educating people about proper storage and handling of firearms, he said.

“What we wanted to do is educate the public that the real key to handling guns safely is to keep guns and ammunition separated and locked,” he said. “I think we accomplished what we wanted to.”

He said Douglas County still has some of the locks but won’t be handing them out until the recall situation is resolved.

When the program began, people from around Northern Nevada flocked to Douglas County for the free locks. Douglas gave away more than 1,500.