July 31, 1998

Thousands of Trigger Locks Will be Given Away on August 15

San Diego City Councilwoman Barbara Warden and Children's Hospital SAFE KIDS program have teamed up to provide free trigger locks to San Diego families.

The trigger lock giveaway program kicks off at 10 a.m. on August 15 at Children's Hospital, just off Interstate 805 at the Mesa College Exit. The trigger locks are available to any San Diego city resident.

People interested in attending this trigger lock giveaway should not bring their firearms to this event, Warden said.

"One of the most sad and frustrating statistics on handgun violence is the accidental deaths and injuries of children and family members by handguns unsafely stored or not properly kept from the hands of our young people," Warden said. "Sometimes the difference between a child's safety and an accidental shooting is something as simple as a trigger lock."

In March, the San Diego City Council passed a "trigger lock" ordinance requiring licensed firearm dealers to sell a trigger-locking device with the sale of each new and used handgun. At that time, Warden expressed frustration that the ordinance only applied to guns sold after April 15, 1998.

"The ordinance did not address the thousands of guns already sold or owned," Warden said. "As a local leader I felt obliged to create a program that encourages the use of trigger locks."

Last year, about 15,000 guns were sold in San Diego County. Warden estimates that half of those sales were made within San Diego city limits. Even more startling, Warden noted, was the fact that over the past 10 years, over 100,000 guns were sold in San Diego by licensed dealers.

Warden said the Trigger Lock Giveaway Program begins August 15 and will continue through the SAFE KIDS program as long as supplies last. Warden says she has about $19,000 in district funds and private donations to provide 4,000 trigger locks to San Diegans that purchased guns before the city's ordinance went into effect. Persons or companies who want to contribute to Warden's trigger lock giveaway program can call her office at (619) 236-6655.

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