ECSO, Project Child Safe safely locks up firearms - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

ECSO, Project Child Safe safely locks up firearms

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EFFINGHAM CO., GA (WTOC) -

This week's shooting at an Oregon high school is the 74th school shooting in 77 weeks since the massacre in Newtown, CT. That includes every time a firearm was discharged inside or even taken on school grounds.

Fifteen of those incidents were similar to the violence in Oregon, where a gunman was actively shooting inside or near a school. That works out to about one school shooting every five weeks.

Of those 15 violent shootings, two were in Georgia and one was in South Carolina.

The Effingham County Sheriff's Office is making sure every resident can safely lock up their firearms.

In order for residents to practice safe gun ownership, the Effingham County Sheriff's Office is offering gun locks from Project Child Safe, a program that helps put a safety lock in homes.

Effingham County Sheriff Jimmy McDuffie demonstrated on Thursday how easy it is to lock up your firearm with the free lock. McDuffie believes it's a preventative measure that could save a life.

"Having stuff like this on these guns, maybe these things wouldn't happen," he said.

People can pick up the free gun cable locks at the sheriff's office, no questions asked. McDuffie is launching the program following the latest school shooting.

"If you have guns in your house, you need to protect them from burglars and people that want to steal them," he said. "So they need to be secure, and the second thing is children. We have had accidents throughout the years in the county where guns have killed children accidentally. Maybe if we had locks like this, and they were put up better, we wouldn't have these incidents."

"I think it is a great thing for our community because a lot of people down here, they say it can never happen," said Effingham County resident Walt Lawson. "I'm sure in places it has, they have said the same thing."

Lawson stows his guns away in a locked cabinet, but having a three-year-old toddler, he plans on doing what he can to protect his son.

"I never thought about it, but you never know when there comes a day your child may stumble across the key," Lawson said. "It is always good to have a backup plan. I rather plan ahead and do what if before, than what if, after something were to happen."

McDuffie also recommends that gun owners never store their guns in closets or under the bed, as those are the most obvious places for children and thieves.

For more information, including where else you can find a Child Safe Lock Program near you, visit their website.

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