Billboard campaign promotes gun safety and free gun locks – NBC Los Angeles

A countywide billboard campaign designed to promote gun safety and encourage the use of free gun locks to keep children safe from accidents was announced Monday by county officials.

“A significant portion of the gun violence that plagues our communities — especially unintentional deaths or injuries and gun suicides — can be prevented if firearms in the home are kept locked and unloaded,” Barbara Ferrer, director of the Department of Public Health, said in a statement. “The billboard campaign and the free gun lock distribution program are critically important steps in the effort to reduce gun violence, especially gun violence involving children.”

The digital billboard advertising campaign is a collaboration with the Los Angeles County Medical Association, L.A. Care Health Plan and the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Office of Violence Prevention. The initiative is funded by the Los Angeles County Medical Association and L.A.Care Health Plan.

As of this month, the digital billboards are on display on heavily traveled portions of the Santa Monica (10) Freeway and Long Beach (710) Freeway. They depict a young person next to the statistic that in Los Angeles County a child is either injured or killed by gun violence every 30 hours. Another 150 poster billboards with the same message are located at bus benches
across the county.

The advertisements direct viewers to visit to obtain a free gun lock. The website features an interactive map where residents can find distribution locations for more than 60,000 available cable gun locks.

“Gun violence exacts a devastating toll on our communities, especially our youth,” county Medical Association CEO Gustavo Friederichsen said. “By advocating for responsible gun safety measures, such as the use of gun locks, we can prevent tragic accidents and save lives. We invite our healthcare community to help spread the word, and we urge every member of our community to take advantage of this opportunity to make our homes safer and protect our loved ones. Together, we can make a meaningful difference in the
fight against gun violence.”

According to a report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2003 and 2021, accidental gun deaths of children ages 17 and younger were most likely to occur in a house or apartment. Eight in 10 such incidents took place in a home, and 56% happened in the child’s own home. The report also stated that in 2022, more than 800 deaths in Los Angeles County involved a firearm and 313 of those deaths were due to gun suicide.

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