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November 19, 2018

The County Library, Utah Department of Public Safety and Salt Lake Suicide Prevention Coalition Collaborate to Prevent Suicide and Protect Children with Free Gun Locks

Jeff Buydos - Email
(801) 944-7522

SALT LAKE COUNTY, Utah—The County Library will hand out free gun locks, no questions asked, and no personal information collected or shared.

“The most common method of suicide in the United States is firearms,” Librarian and Herriman branch manager Leslie Schow said. “As part of Salt Lake County Library’s commitment to suicide prevention, we are offering gun locks to anyone who asks.”

Suicides have been rising in Utah since 2008, and the state currently ranks fifth in suicide deaths. A recently-released Harvard study shows self-inflicted gunshot wounds account for half of suicide deaths and a mortality rate of 87 percent when firearms are used in a suicide attempt.

“By restricting access to functional firearms with the addition of cable locks, we hope to prevent both suicides and accidents. It’s also important to always store your firearms properly. Guns should be unloaded, stored in locked cabinets or safes, inaccessible to children and ammunition should be locked away separately,” said Agent Scott Baker from Utah Department of Public Safety. “A free gun lock could literally save your child, husband, wife or friend.”

Firearm-related casualties are the third-leading cause of deaths of children ages 1 through 17 nationwide. About 50 percent of Utah households contain a gun.

The gun locks have been donated to the County Library by the Utah Department of Public Safety and will work with nearly all handguns as well as magazine-fed and bolt-action rifles and shotguns. The free gun lock program will run until all locks have been distributed. 

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About Salt Lake County Library Services

Salt Lake County Library is committed to making a positive difference in the lives of our community by inspiring imagination, satisfying curiosity and providing a great place for everyone to visit. You belong at the County Library and your interest to read, create, learn, play and connect is supported by our employees, programs, collection and online resources. Early and lifelong learning, as well as equal access for all, are at the forefront of all that we do.

About Utah Department of Public Safety

The Utah Department of Public Safety (DPS) is comprised of 11 divisions and bureaus that include the Utah Highway Patrol, the Division of Emergency Management, Driver License division, Statewide Information and Analysis Center (SIAC), State Bureau of Investigation (SBI), State Fire Marshal, Highway Safety Office, Communications, State Crime Lab, Bureau of Criminal Identification, and Peace Officers Standards and Training (POST).  The DPS dive team, Aero Bureau, Special Emergency Response Team (SERT) and Public Protection Unit (PPU) also fall under the Department of Public Safety. DPS is made up of more than 1,500 state employees who are stationed across Utah.

About Salt Lake Suicide Prevention Coalition 

Salt Lake Suicide Prevention Coalition is dedicated to suicide prevention, education and support and eliminating all suicides in Salt Lake County.

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