Reporting Meghan McCorkell
TOWSON, Md. (WJZ)– Three high-profile gun incidents inside Baltimore County schools. Now, county officials are taking a stand to prevent it from happening again.
Meghan McCorkell has details on the new initiative.
Baltimore County will now provide free gun locks at all 10 of their police precincts so owners can keep weapons out of the hands of children.
On the first day of school, a teen opened fire inside Perry Hall High School and shot another student.
One week later, inside Stemmers Run Middle School, a 13-year-old pulled out a handgun in the middle of class and pointed it at other students before a teacher wrestled it away.
“None of these incidents were caused by owners who were just being careless. Frankly, they were caused by owners who were being idiotic,” Baltimore County Executive Kevin Kamenetz said.
Now, the county is fighting back.
Two thousand free gun locks are being handed out at police precincts. Gun owners must provide proof of residence in the county to receive up to three free locks.
“Responsible gun owners use that gun safety lock. It costs just a few dollars. In this case, we’re going to give it to you free,” Jim Johnson, chief of the Baltimore County Police Department, said.
The new initiative comes on the heels of yet another gun incident. This time at Deer Park Middle School in Randallstown.
A 12-year old boy was found with ammunition on him in school. Further investigation revealed the boy allegedly took a handgun from his home and traded it with another student for an Xbox.
The gun was never on school property.
“When you have children, they’re going to access these weapons. It doesn’t matter where you hide them. They’re going to know about it,” Kamenetz said.
That’s why officials hope these gun locks serve as an added deterrent to keep children away from weapons.
The Baltimore County Police Foundation donated the money for those free gun locks.
Police Chief Johnson said he hopes to extend the free gun lock program after this supply runs out.