John Hanchey, left, general manager and chief instructor for Baton Rouge's Firearms Range & Clothing Indoor Range & Training Facility, and Baton Rouge Police Department Community Services Director Lt. Pamela Brunner, right demonstrate how to use a gun lock on an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle to render it inoperable, at a launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at BRPD headquarters.

Bill Brassard Jr., left, communications director for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, shakes hands with East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, right, as she arrives for a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns Sept. 7, 2019, at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters.

Bill Brassard, Jr., left, communications director for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, looks down at a small but effective gun lock, as he speaks at a launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters. Behind him are Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council District 7 member LaMont Cole and his children Carter, 1, and Parker, 7.

Handguns disabled by use of gun locks, on table at a launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters.



Karen Lord, left, and Linda Hilliard, center, both of Baton Riouge, pick up free gun locks after a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept . headquarters.

Simple gun locks with keys on table, offered for free at a launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters.

at a launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept . headquarters.

Fathers On A Mission founder Levar Robinson speaks, flanked by Roxson Welch, left, Director of Baton Rouge's Family and Youth Service Center, at a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters.

Baton Rouge's Al Thibodeaux talks after picking up a free gun lock after at a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters. In background are Metro Council District 5 member Erika L. Green, center, and East Baton Rouge Mayor-President's Office Chief Service Officer Courtney Scott.

Baton Rouge Police Dept. Chief Murphy Paul speaks at a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at BRPD headquarters.

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council District 5 member Erika L. Green speaks at a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters. Metro Council District 7 member LaMont Cole and his children Carter, 1, and Parker, 7, are in background.

Holly Sheets, Law Enforcement Coordinator and Public Information Officer for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Louisiana, speaks at a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters.

Project ChildSafe staffer John Bolton sets free gun locks and information on a table before at a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters.

John Hanchey, left, general manager and chief instructor for Baton Rouge's Firearms Range & Clothing Indoor Range & Training Facility, and Baton Rouge Police Department Community Services Director Lt. Pamela Brunner, right demonstrate how to use a gun lock on an AR-15-style semi-automatic rifle to render it inoperable, at a launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at BRPD headquarters.

Bill Brassard Jr., left, communications director for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, shakes hands with East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome, right, as she arrives for a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns Sept. 7, 2019, at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters.

Bill Brassard, Jr., left, communications director for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, looks down at a small but effective gun lock, as he speaks at a launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters. Behind him are Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council District 7 member LaMont Cole and his children Carter, 1, and Parker, 7.

Handguns disabled by use of gun locks, on table at a launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters.

Karen Lord, left, and Linda Hilliard, center, both of Baton Riouge, pick up free gun locks after a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept . headquarters.

Simple gun locks with keys on table, offered for free at a launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters.

at a launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept . headquarters.

Fathers On A Mission founder Levar Robinson speaks, flanked by Roxson Welch, left, Director of Baton Rouge's Family and Youth Service Center, at a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters.

Baton Rouge's Al Thibodeaux talks after picking up a free gun lock after at a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters. In background are Metro Council District 5 member Erika L. Green, center, and East Baton Rouge Mayor-President's Office Chief Service Officer Courtney Scott.

Baton Rouge Police Dept. Chief Murphy Paul speaks at a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at BRPD headquarters.

Baton Rouge Metropolitan Council District 5 member Erika L. Green speaks at a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters. Metro Council District 7 member LaMont Cole and his children Carter, 1, and Parker, 7, are in background.

Holly Sheets, Law Enforcement Coordinator and Public Information Officer for the U.S. Attorney's Office, Middle District of Louisiana, speaks at a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters.

Project ChildSafe staffer John Bolton sets free gun locks and information on a table before at a press conference launch of Project ChildSafe, a program to encourage responsible firearms ownership and secure storage of guns, Saturday, Sept. 7, 2019 at Baton Rouge Police Dept. headquarters.

Keeping children safe around firearms is the focus of a new program providing gun locks to East Baton Rouge residents.

Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome announced the project — a partnership with the national organization Project ChildSafe — during a press conference Saturday morning at Baton Rouge Police headquarters.

Along with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, the National Shooting Sports Foundation and other local leaders, the year-long program is aimed at preventing accidents, thefts and misuse of firearms.

Project ChildSafe is a national program through NSSF that began in 1999 to promote firearm safety. Through the organization’s efforts, anyone in the parish can pick up a free cable-style gun lock and firearm safety kit at multiple locations — no questions asked.

“When firearms are responsibly stored in the home, families and communities are safer,” Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul said.

Firearm locks are available at all BRPD district locations throughout the year, but for those who do not feel comfortable picking up kits from a police station, they can find them at Charles R. Kelly Community Center, MLK Community Center, Cheneyville Community Center, Family & Youth Service Center, Beacon Light Church, and certain firearms retailers.

Latonya Smith and DeJuana Banks said they decided to come to Saturday's event because they want to protect their children. Smith has a little girl and Banks has two grandchildren.

Grandfathers Al Thibodeaux, 66, and Charles Travis, 63, also said they were hoping to secure their firearms to keep their grandchildren safe.

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“I have my gun where I think is a safe place that they don’t know about,” Thibodeaux said. “But what if they do get into it?”

“I have a lot of grandkids,” Travis said. “I tell my grandkids, don’t play with it, don’t touch it. This is something good to have around.”

Two seventh graders at Westdale Middle School were arrested Monday after an unloaded gun was found in one of their backpacks, according to a p…

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