HOUSTON (FOX 26) - Gun owners are typically all too willing to answer questions about the number or the type of guns they have, but what about the question of whether they safely store their guns away from children? Too many times the answer is "no", so area law enforcement hope to change that.
There's a new campaign in Harris County to remind parents to lock up their guns and keep them out of the hands of kids. Local law officers are leaving not-so-little love notes in the form of massive roadside billboards to help us remember. The oversized signs include a horrifying image of a child reaching for a loaded gun.
“This is a big issue and it happens far too often. These are preventable,” says Harris County Sheriff Ed Gonzalez.
“There isn't a bigger tragedy than a parent whose child takes their own life or someone else's simply because that parent didn't keep a gun safe,” adds Harris County District Attorney Kim Ogg.
The DA’s office, sheriff's office and Houston Police Department are teaming to bring us this big reminder. The "Save a Life. Lock up your Guns" billboards caution gun owners to get gun locks or a secure safe to store firearms so children can't get a hold of them.
”We must make sure that as responsible adults, as responsible gun owners, we do not allow them to have access to guns,” says the sheriff.
Leaving a loaded gun in a child's reach can not only end tragically, it's also illegal.
“It is a crime to leave your gun unattended and have someone be able to get to that weapon and harm someone else,” explains HPD Assistant Chief Bobby Dobbins.
The 25 billboards will be posted around town for the next couple months. The group behind the gigantic signs also wants to remind you, if you're traveling for Thanksgiving or Christmas, make sure your holiday host has his or her guns secured as well.
If you don't have a gun lock reach out to HPD, the HCSO or the DA's Office for a free one.