Safety first: The tool Providence Holy Cross Medical Center is using to stem firearm accidents

Providence Holy Cross. A gun lock and keys sit on a white background

Handgun safety can go a long way toward stemming firearm accidents. At Providence Holy Cross Medical Center in Mission Hills, Calif., getting the right tools in the hands of gun owners is helping prevent tragic ends from occurring.

Because the source of most firearms found in the possession of children are family or relatives, devices like gun locks can go a long way towards preventing firearm accidents and associated violence.

A gun lock looks like a cable and threads through the ejection port of the gun; when properly installed, a gun lock renders the firearm impossible to shoot.

Providence Holy Cross Medical Center recently hosted a giveaway of these safety devices, offering locks to employees and physicians at the Providence Holy Cross location, as well as at Facey Medical Group, a Providence partner. The goal of the campaign, according to Providence Holy Cross Chief Executive Bernie Klein, is to keep guns out of the hands of kids and teenagers.

Klein, who also heads a trauma center at Providence Holy Cross, became interested in hosting the event after the center treated survivors of a 2019 school shooting that took place at Saugus High School in nearby Santa Clarita.

Reflecting the widespread interest in gun safety among staff, the supply of gun locks was gone within hours of the start of the campaign. The funding for the giveaway was through the medical centers, but Klein hopes they can someday find other means of support and expand their reach beyond health care professionals.

“Safe storage is so critical to make sure that the wrong people don’t get a hold of your gun, that adolescents don’t get a hold of the gun,” Klein said. “My hope is in the future we can get a grant and provide gun locks to anyone who wants them.”


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