Hollis handing out gun locks

HOLLIS – Police recently teamed up with Project ChildSafe to make the town a safer place for everyone this holiday season. The Hollis Police Department is now giving away free gun locks at the station.

“First and foremost, anytime we can make this a safer place to live is a positive,” Hollis Police Sgt. Richard Mello said. “We have Lone Pine Gun Club in town and a significant number of people in town with pistol permits. We’re primarily protecting children. They’re curious, and an unlocked gun – you’re just inviting a tragedy to happen.”

Project ChildSafe, a nationwide program to promote safe firearm handling, will make 65,000 gun locks available to communities throughout the state this year, according to the program’s Web site. The effort is funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Justice and was developed by the National Sports Shooting Foundation.The program aims to educate gun owners by distributing materials about firearm safety, as well as the free gun-locking devices. Mello said the program is important not only for Hollis, but for the state.

“We live in a state where there are a lot of gun rights,” he said. “If we can prevent a tragedy, it’s certainly worthwhile.”

Mello said the gun locks are available in a box in the police department’s lobby. People are free to come and take as many as they need.

Gun locks are also available at police departments in Amherst, Litchfield, Merrimack, Milford, Nashua and Wilton.