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How To Use A Gun Lock [Video]

Madison is one of many communities now offering free gun locks, 24/7, to its residents. Here's how to use it and why it should be one part (but not the only part) of your gun safety program.

Video: Pem McNerney
Video: Pem McNerney


With all of the sad events relating to gun accidents, it's clear that a few irresponsible gun owners can wreak havoc, risk innocent lives, and make all gun owners look bad. No one buys a gun thinking it might endanger his or her own family, the neighbors, or loved ones. But, sometimes, that is exactly what happens. 

The Madison police department wants to make sure that town residents know that, if they own a gun, they should be smart, they should be responsible, and they should store it safely. 

  • That means keeping it in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case
  • That means storing the ammunition separately
  • That means using a gun lock device so that the gun itself cannot be operated
  • That means storing the keys for the cabinet/safe/vault/case, and the gun lock, separately. Don't hang the keys on a hook right next to the case.
Gun locks being offered free to Madison residents 24/7

As for the gun locks, the Madison police department is offering them free to all residents 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

During the week, they are being given out through the records department, which is the window just to your left when you enter the lobby of the police department at 9 Campus Drive off of Duck Hole Road.

After 4 p.m., the gun locks are being given out by the men and women who work dispatch, which is the window right ahead of you when you enter the lobby. In either case, just pick up the phone and let them know what you want. 

The lock works pretty much like any other master lock

Madison Police Officer Joe Race demonstrated the lock in the video with this story. He said don't get frustrated if the lock is a little bit sticky at first.

It works like just about any other master lock with a key.

To open the lock, turn the key clockwise. Then you remove the loose end of the cable from the lock. 

Make sure the gun is unloaded

To install it, first make sure the gun is unloaded. Thread the cable through the firearm. How it is threaded through will depend on the specific firearm, and detailed instructions for this specific gun lock can be obtained on the ProjectSafe website at this link, from the organization that provides the locks

Once the cable clicks into the locked position, remove the key. Test the cable to make sure it is secure. 

Race emphasized that installing a gun lock is just part of a gun safety program.

Madison one of many communities participating in Project ChildSafe

"Gun owners need to make sure that the gun is stored in locked storage. Ammunition should be stored separately. And keep the gun lock key separate from the gun lock," he said. 

Madison is just one of many communities in Connecticut that have offered locks through Project ChildSafe. The other communities include

  • Bloomfield: Bloomfield Police Department
  • Bridgeport: Bridgeport Police Department
  • Brookfield: Brookfield Police Department
  • Coventry: Coventry Police Department
  • East Granby: Connecticut Air National Guard Bradley ANGB
  • East Hartford: East Hartford Police Department
  • East Haven: East Haven Police Department
  • Easton: Easton Police Department
  • Groton: City of Groton Police Department
  • Groton: Groton Police Department
  • Hampton: Town of Hampton Police Department
  • Ledyard: Ledyard Police Department
  • Meriden: Meriden Police Department
  • Middletown: Connecticut State Police
  • Middletown: Middletown Police Department
  • Milford: Milford Police Department
  • Naugatuck: Naugatuck Police Department
  • New Milford: New Milford Police Department
  • Newtown: Newtown Police Department
  • Newtown: SAAMI
  • Niantic: East Lyme Police Department
  • North Branford: North Branford Police Department
  • Norwich: Norwich Police Department
  • Old Lyme: CT State EnCon Police
  • Old Saybrook: Old Saybrook Police Department
  • Orange: Orange Police Department
  • Redding: Redding Police Department
  • Ridgefield: Ridgefield Police Department
  • Seymour: Seymour Police Department
  • Simsbury: Simsbury Police Department
  • Southington: Southington Police Department
  • Stratford: Stratford Police Department
  • Uncasville: Montville Police Department
  • Waterbury: Waterbury Police Department
  • Waterford: Waterford Police Department
  • West Hartford: West Hartford Police Department
  • West Haven: West Haven Police Department
  • For other communities that are or that have participated nationwide, see this map on the Project ChildSafe website.


Matt January 28, 2014 at 01:49 PM
FYI, This is not something "being offered by the Madison Police Department" as stated in the article. These locks and accompanying safety brochure are and always have been supplied by the National Shooting Sports Foundation. The foundation pays for, makes, and ships these packages and has been doing so for decades. They send the packages to police departments as a 24/7 pickup spot for anyone that wants them. This program has absolutely nothing to do with the Madison Police Department, other than sitting the NSSF's packages on their table. They aren't "for Madison residents" either. They are for anyone anywhere that needs a lock. So please don't pretend this is something police department is doing to proactively make people safer in town. That box of gun locks, provided by the NSSF, has been there at the police station for anyone that wants them, literally for a decade or more. This is nothing new and nothing unique to Madison. I'm all for spreading the word and encouraging people to come get them. But don't give MPD the credit for something that they have nothing to do with and ignore the organization that is really responsible for it.

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