(CBS DETROIT) – Accidental shootings involving children is a tragedy Detroit Police say is unfortunately on the rise and now DPD is putting gun locks in the hands of gun owners, at no costs with no questions asked.

Jan. 20 marks a dark day in the city of Detroit. An 18-month-old shot and killed a 5-year-old while playing with a gun.

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Sadly, unsecure weapons are behind numerous accidental shootings turning play dates into heartaches.

“On Monday, Jan. 24, 2021 at approximately 11:22 p.m. in the 14000 block of Hubbell, a 4-year-old male victim accidentally shot himself after a firearm was left unsecured on a table and on Friday, Oct. 20, 2020, at approximately 1:00 p.m., in the 15000 block of Kentucky, an 8-year-old was fatally wounded after an 11-year-old located an unsecured handgun,” said Detroit Police Captain Kyra Joy Hope.

Detroit Police is offering 1,000 free cable gun locks to residents as part of the project child safe initiative.

“I actually had been out on scene when that 18-month-old and that 5-year-old found a loaded weapon. The 5-year-old did not make it. This is one of the most preventable things that we can do to help to secure their lives and help to secure their future, which is by locking up a firearm that’s right there within your own home,” said Commissioner Martin Jones, Detroit Board of Police Commissioners.

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Free gun locks are available now at all precincts across the city.

The goal is to teach firearm safety to gun owners and urge them to take a pledge to keep kids safe.

“Make sure that you take that charge to safeguard that weapon and lock it up,” said Hope.

City Councilman James Tate will be hosting a virtual discussion on gun safety next Tuesday at 6 p.m. Call 313-626-6799 for details.

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