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Outside the White Mountain Community Health Center, Margie Riforgiato, left, an adult nurse practitioner, displays a gun lock that the health center and the Conway Police Department will provide free to the public, while supplies last, beginning Sept. 1. Joining Riforgiato are Conway Police Lt. George Walker and Shawn Flanagan-Rogers, who is a pediatric nurse practitioner at the health center. (Courtesy)

Free gun lock giveway begins Sept. 1 in Conway

CONWAY — To educate the community about safe, responsible firearms ownership and storage, the Conway Police Department and the White Mountain Community Health Center are giving away free gun locks.

The gun locks are part of 200 firearm safety kits that will be available, while supplies last, at both the police department and the health center beginning Sept. 1. The kit includes a safety curriculum and a cable-style gun lock that fits most handguns, rifles and shotguns, according to Conway police Lt. George Walker.

The gun-lock giveaway represented a partnership of the police and the health center with Project Childsafe and the National Shooting Sports Foundation whose goals, said Walker, are to stress that “it’s everyone’s responsibility to know how to safely handle firearms and properly secure them.”
Shawn Flanagan-Rogers, the health center’s pediatric nurse practitioner, said firearms pose a hazard to some of her patients.

“About half the families I work with own a gun,” said Rogers. “Even if your child knows not to play with your gun, he or she will have friends who come over, and they may not be as well trained. Teenagers are prone to both rash decisions and depression, and that can be a dangerous combination when there’s an unlocked gun in the house. It’s better to be safe than sorry.”

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