ROANOKE, Va. – Carilion Clinic is offering free gun locks to families in the Roanoke Valley.
The cable gun locks are provided at different doctor's offices in the area.
Carilion's Safe Kids Southwest Virginia coalition worked with the clinic's police department to get funding for the locks through Project ChildSafe, an organization that promotes firearms safety and education. Over the past few months, Carilion has handed out about 150 free gun locks, no questions asked.
Every year, more than 41,000 kids in the U.S. are killed or injured by guns.
Carilion workers said families should educate kids about gun safety. They also advise families with guns in the house to store firearms unloaded and locked away and keep ammunition locked in a separate location, so curious kids can't hurt themselves or others.
"These deaths are preventable," said Jill Lucas Drakeford, the Carilion Children's Safe Kids coordinator. "Even if we can prevent just one child or one person from dying because they were able to access a gun in somebody's home, that is definitely the goal of what we want to do."
Ten Carilion locations offer free gun locks, including Carilion Children's Pediatric Medicine, Carilion Children's Pediatric Behavioral Health, Carilion Clinic Adolescent Medicine, Carilion Roanoke Memorial Hospital Lobby and Carilion Clinic Family Medicine locations in Roanoke, Daleville and Rocky Mount.