Not just books: LA County libraries give away free gun locks at five locations

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By Yosi Yahoudai
Founder and Managing Partner

Los Angeles County is expanding its gun safety program by giving away free gun locks at five library branches, the county announced on Monday, June 3.

Gun locks and gun safety literature are available at the following L.A. County library locations:

• Compton, 240 W. Compton Blvd, Compton, CA 90220

• Lancaster, 601 W. Lancaster Blvd., Lancaster, CA 93534

• Norwalk, 12350 Imperial Highway, Norwalk, CA 90650

• Rosemead, 8800 Valley Blvd., Rosemead, CA 91770

• San Fernando, 217 N. Maclay Ave., San Fernando, CA 91340

Gun locks will be given out no questions asked. No names or identification will be taken, said the county. A person asking for a gun lock does not need a library card, the county said.

A gun locked with a cable gunlock is displayed at the Oklahoma state Capitol, Wednesday, May 5, 2004. (AP Photo/Sue Ogrocki)

A gun lock, also known as a gun cable lock, gun safety lock or firearm lock, is a device that is designed to prevent the unauthorized use of a gun.

“Gun locks can save lives, especially in households with children,” said Los Angeles County Supervisor Janice Hahn, who represents the Fourth District, in a prepared statement.

“The simple act of locking and safely storing firearms can prevent a tragedy that far too many families have experienced,” said Barbara Ferrer, director of the L.A. County Department of Public Health in a written statement.

In Los Angeles County, a child is killed or injured by gun violence every 30 hours. In 2022, more than 800 L.A. County residents died due to gun violence, and of those 313 were due to suicides, the county reported.

According to the Centers for Disease Control, between 2003 and 2021, accidental gun deaths of children ages 17 and under were most likely to happen in a house or apartment; 56% occurred in a child’s home.

Putting a cable lock on a firearm is part of the county’s effort to get gun owners to safely store guns so that they don’t get into the wrong hands. Part of gun-safety education practice includes locking the gun, as well as storing the gun unloaded, and separate from ammunition.

On April 2, 2024, the county began providing county hospitals and clinics with gun locks for doctors, nurses and other medical personnel to distribute. The county’s program — advertised on billboards — hopes to give out a total of 60,000 gun locks.

This week, the county is adding the five library locations for distribution. The Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Office of Violence Prevention, in collaboration with the L.A. County Library, is distributing 1,000 gun safety locks to the public at the five library locations.

“Providing free gun safety locks at our libraries is an important step in ensuring the safety of our community,” said L.A. County Library Director Skye Patrick. “We are proud to partner with Public Health in this crucial initiative. Our libraries are more than just places for books, they are safe havens for learning and growth. By offering these safety resources, we are taking an active role in protecting our residents and promoting a safer Los Angeles County.”

County libraries previously gave out free naloxone — the medication that can reverse an opioid overdose — during distribution events at five select public library branches in October and November 2023.

To obtain a free gun safety lock online, go to Anyone wanting a gun lock must be 18 years of age or older. Each household is limited to two free gun locks. No firearms or weapons are allowed at any county library location.

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About the Author
Yosi Yahoudai is a founder and the managing partner of J&Y. His practice is comprised primarily of cases involving automobile and motorcycle accidents, but he also represents people in premises liability lawsuits, including suits alleging dangerous conditions of public property, third-party criminal conduct, and intentional torts. He also has expertise in cases involving product defects, dog bites, elder abuse, and sexual assault. He earned his Bachelor of Arts from the University of California and is admitted to practice in all California State Courts, and the United States District Court for the Southern District of California. If you have any questions about this article, you can contact Yosi by clicking here.