The Bucks County District Attorney’s Office is looking to expand its program to distribute free gun locks to its residents.
Ben’s campaign originated from an incident in Sept. 2016 when a 2-year-old boy in Millford Township found an unlocked firearm. Tragically, the boy shot himself in the chest and the 27-year-old father plead guilty to involuntary manslaughter.
Then in April of 2017, the Bucks DA office announced it was kick starting “Ben’s Campaign” to prevent another senseless death. With the help of Project ChildSafe, free gun locks are available at several police stations throughout the county.
It is estimated thousands of gun locks have been given out in just a year and a half. Since the program’s inception, there has not been a single accidental gun death in Bucks County, according to the DA’s office.
“I’m grateful to know, and I believe, our program is having a positive effect on the community and keeping people safe,” DA Matt Weintraub told WLVT-TV (PBS-39). “We hope to expand this program to seniors that may be suffering from dementia who live in a household where a gun may be stored and also in homes where an individual may be at risk of suicide.”
Now, the DA’s Office is now working with the Area Agency on Aging (AAA), hospitals, and other organization to find people who may be at risk.
“We’re going to approach the family members who may have the concern for their loved one,” Weintraub said. “Somebody suffering from dementia, for example, may not be in the position to decide whether they should have a gun lock or not.”
The plan is to persuade the family members who may be responsible for taking care of the person to make the decision for them and get a gun lock.
“It’s not going to be forced on anybody. It’s just another avenue for gun safety,” Weintraub clarified. “It could be the difference between life and death.”