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Free gunlocks available Thursday, August 11, at Columbia event

'Lock It Up, Columbia' Serve and Connect campaign promotes firearm safety
Credit: Walker Lawson

COLUMBIA, S.C. — The City of Columbia, Columbia Police Department, the city's Parks & Recreation Department, the North Columbia Youth Empowerment Initiative (NCYEI) and Richland County Sheriff's Department are partnering with Serve and Connect to provide free gun locks to the community.

Gun violence has become an issue in various Midlands communities, with several incidents involving youth and guns over the summer.

The "Lock It Up, Columbia" firearm safety campaign is an attempt at making firearms kept in the home safer. According to the National Crime Prevention Council, 89% of unintentional shooting deaths of children occur in the home.

Thursday's event, 4-6 p.m. at the Katheryn M. Bellfield Cultural Arts Center, 2611 Grant St. in Columbia, will be a block party with free gun locks available. 

The event is free and open to the public and will provide resources as citizens come together for a racial justice movement that supports building bridges between communities and law enforcement.

RELATED: Local organizations against gun violence say efforts can't work without community help

Another "Stop the Violence" event is scheduled for 5 p.m. Saturday, August 13 at Bluff Road Park, where faith leaders in the community will be gathering to address gun violence issues through prayer.

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