From the City of Evanston
The Evanston Police Department, Evanston Parks & Recreation Department and Moms Demand Action Evanston are connecting residents with lifesaving information and gun locks as part of the “Safe Gun Storage Saves Lives” campaign.
The initiative aims to educate gun owners about the importance of safely storing firearms to prevent unwanted injuries and deaths. Some 4.6 million children in the U.S. live in a home with at least one unlocked and loaded firearm, according to Everytown, and nearly 350 children under the age of 18 unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else each year.
“Ending the gun violence epidemic will require not just one, but many creative, collaborative solutions,” said Evanston Mayor Daniel Biss. “This partnership is another example of how our community is stepping up to save lives.”
Beginning Feb. 10, Evanston residents can pick up a complimentary gun lock provided by the Evanston Police Department at Fleetwood-Jourdain and Robert Crown community centers. Educational flyers in English and Spanish will also be distributed to school districts in preparation for upcoming parent-teacher conferences.
“Preventing youth gun violence starts at home,” said Evanston Parks & Recreation Director Audrey Thompson. “This initiative will connect community members with the information and tools they need to responsibly store and secure their firearms, and will support our continued youth outreach and violence prevention efforts.”
“The recent incident at Chute Middle School is another reminder of the importance of safe firearm storage,” said Evanston Police Chief Schenita Stewart. “We want community members to know that there are free resources available to help them keep their guns away from children.”
“Secure storage practices play a vital role in reducing the risk of gun violence. We are all safer when guns are stored unloaded, locked and separate from ammunition,” said Sara Hines, Co-Lead of Moms Demand Action Evanston.
Where to pick up a gun lock
Community members who need a gun lock can drop by the following community centers Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.:
- Fleetwood-Jourdain Community Center (1655 Foster St.)
- Robert Crown Community Center (1801 Main St.)
Gun locks and safes can also be donated to the Evanston Police Department, located at 1454 Elmwood Ave., or at the community centers listed above.
For more information, call/text 847-448-4311 or dial 311 in Evanston.