Tennessee Beginning to Issue Free Gun Locks

AP Photo/Matt Rourke

Earlier this year, Tennessee lawmakers gathered in Nashville for a special legislative session intended to foist gun control on the state. This was in response to the shooting at a private Christian school that left three children and three adults dead.


The only thing that got done was providing gun locks to people free of charge.

For those in the state, here’s how to get them.

During the legislative special session in August, the General Assembly passed legislation to make sure that every Tennessean could procure a free gun lock. This was something the state’s Department of Safety and Homeland Security was already doing. But, with new funding for marketing it is expected to be advertised to more Tennesseans.

Eventually, the Department of Safety will have instructions on its website about how residents can request free firearm locks, as well as a public media campaign dedicated to safe firearm storage.

Until then, here are the steps WPLN News took to obtain a gun lock through the state.

  1. Find yourlocal Tennessee Highway Patrol office. Look for a center in your city or county.
  2. Once you arrive at the location, simply ask for your free gun lock.

They don’t come with instructions, so that link before the blockquote will take you to the original piece that includes how to use a gun lock.

Not that using a gun lock is all that difficult.

Regardless, this is the kind of thing that we can find common ground on. No one things securing guns is a bad thing. Where we disagree is whether it should be mandatory or not. Yet I think you’ll find most people, particularly those with children, will use things like gun locks if they can get them easily and affordably–and free gun locks definitely are affordable.

Making it easier for people to get storage options is something we should be pushing for and pushing for hard. Free gun locks are a good start, but there’s more that can be done. Tax rebates for gun safes and eliminating sales tax for them as well would also be viable options to reduce the cost of safes and urge people to get them.


Non-profits could potentially offer safes to people who can’t afford them–grandparents or people now having hard times, for example. Just a thought.

There are things we can do, that we can come together to accomplish, that don’t infringe on our rights but might well reduce so-called gun deaths, particularly those due to youth suicides.

Gun locks are a great start and I’m glad Tennessee decided to do that. I’m also glad that’s about all that came out of that special session, too, because there were some terrible proposals floating around.

Gun locks aren’t one of them.

Just don’t think gun locks are the magic bullet. They’re not. First, they have to be used. Second, they don’t stop theft from taking place and theft is where most crime guns are coming from in the first place.

So gun locks are a start, but I hope every state will go further than that.

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