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Protect your family, keep firearms secure with a free gun lock

Nov 02, 2022 10:24AM ● By Editor

Watch the gun lock safety video here

From the Minnesota Department of Public Safety • November 2, 2022

Requesting a gun lock costs nothing. Saving a life is priceless. 

We first ordered 10,000 gun locks to give away at the Minnesota State Fair. We ended up handing out more than 23,000. 

We are continuing our Keep Minnesota Safe & Secure Initiative throughout the fall. While we are partnering with community and law enforcement organizations to distribute the locks, we are also offering up to three free gun locks through our website

"Our goal is for all Minnesota gun owners to understand how and why to use gun locks and to get a gun lock into the hands of every gun owner who doesn't already have one," DPS Commissioner John Harrington said.

Make Minnesota Safe & Secure is an initiative spearheaded by Gov. Tim Walz​ and Lt. Gov. Peggy Flanagan to ensure every gun owner in Minnesota has a gun lock to help store firearms in a safe and secure manner — keeping them out of curious little hands, would-be thieves and people suffering mental health crises. 

There were 513 firearm-related deaths in Minnesota in 2020. Of those, 354 were caused by suicide and 138 were homicides.

Not only do unsecured firearms harm public safety, but they are also a public health issue, according to Minnesota Commissioner of Health Jan Malcolm.

“It is a leading cause of ​premature death in the form of homicides and suicides, and these deaths take a tremendous toll on the families left behind," Malcolm said.

The gun lock secures the firearm, putting a barrier in place to effectively disable the gun so it cannot be fired, whether it was loaded or unloaded. DPS recommends always storing the ammunition and the firearm separately. These videos in English, Spanish, Hmong and Somali demonstrate how to use a gun lock.

A gun in the house also can be used to hurt or kill someone when:

  • A child or teen finds the gun and accidentally pulls the trigger.
  • A depressed teen or adult feels suicidal and there is a gun readily available.
  • A family argument gets out of control.
  • A family member or friend is mistaken for an intruder.

Safe storage, including using gun locks, can prevent tragedies like these. If the firearm is needed, it's as simple as turning the key to remove the lock.​