With impetus from Mothers Demand Action, local towns send gun safety reminders

Go to: Local Gun Safety Measures and Programs

The battle against gun violence is fought on many fronts. The most publicized fronts concern the acquisition of firearms – be it background checks or assault weapons – but what about the tens of millions of weapons already available?

It’s an issue being tackled locally by Moms Demand Action NorthShore, a chapter of the national nonprofit that advocates for public safety measures to address gun violence.

Following the July 4 mass shooting in Highland Park, MDA NorthShore encouraged local public authorities to promote gun safety measures and programs within their respective communities.

“These weapons are not going away. Nobody is removing these guns,” said Erinn Martin, co-director of MDA NorthShore. “So we have to manage it on a community basis.”

Thanks to Martin and company, the villages of Winnetka, Wilmette, Glencoe and Northfield sent gun safety reminders to their community mailing lists, as did local school districts Winnetka D36, Joseph Sears D38 and Glencoe D35.

Martin said the local MDA chapter is also working with Wilmette D39 on a similar initiative.

According to Everytown For Gun Safety, 54% of gun owners do not securely lock all of their guns, and when there is gunfire on school property, 80% of shooters ( 18 and under) use a weapon they got from the house or the house of someone they know.

With gun purchases surging during the pandemic, Martin said it’s more important than ever to remember gun safety.

“During COVID, a lot of people want to buy a gun but don’t know how to store it properly, don’t know how to use it properly,” she said. “Let’s go ahead and get set up with the classes and how to store them properly. In this way, we can safely own weapons.

Many local police departments partner with the Project Child Safe program, which offers a “guide to responsible gun ownership, safe handling, and secure storage.” Scroll down to see information local services have shared with their communities.

Martin and Mothers Demand Action NorthShore also lobbies to restrict gun sales, particularly the sale of assault-type weapons. MDA volunteers call local lawmakers daily and reach out to voters in Midwestern states with looser gun control to get a sense of their appetite for change.

Gun safety measures shared by local police departments (in partnership with Project Child Safe)

  • Store unloaded firearms in a locked and mounted cabinet, safe, safe or safe.
  • Unloaded firearms can also be secured using a locking device which renders the weapon inoperable, but locks are no substitute for secure storage.
  • Store ammunition separately and safely.
  • Always check firearms to make sure they are still unloaded when you remove them from storage.
  • If the firearms are disassembled, the parts must be securely locked in separate places. If you are concerned about quick access to your firearm, consider a special lockable case that can only be opened quickly by you/authorized persons.

Village of Wilmette (webpage with village gun safety programs)

• The Wilmette Police Department will temporarily store firearms and ammunition free of charge if needed, such as if a family member is experiencing a mental health crisis.
• The department can assist residents with legal requests to remove a family member’s access to firearms if that individual is a danger to themselves and/or others.
• The ministry offers a firearms and ammunition disposal program.
• The Village offers free cable gun locks at the police station (710 Ridge Road).

Village of Winnetka

• Village Code: It is illegal to keep an assault weapon in the village unless it is secured in a locked container or equipped with a tamper-proof mechanical lock or other safety device, rendering the weapon unusable by anyone other than the legally authorized user. It is also forbidden for anyone to carry or possess an assault weapon in the Village, except when they are on their own land or in their home.
• The Winnetka Police Department will take possession of and destroy any firearm brought into the station, 410 Green Bay Road, at any time. According to village code, no one who returns a firearm will be asked for identification or prosecuted for returning it.

Village of Glencoe

• Glencoe Public Safety provides residents with cable-operated gun locks free of charge, in partnership with Project ChildSafe.
• Glencoe Public Safety provides for the safe destruction of unwanted firearms. If you are in possession of a firearm that you no longer want, bring it to the Public Security Department who will take possession of it and have it destroyed.

Village of Northfield

• Temporary storage of firearms — If there is a temporary situation where a resident is unable to provide safe storage of firearms, firearms may be stored at the police department free of charge . If the firearms cannot be transported safely and legally, an officer will come to the residence to retrieve them.
• Destruction of firearms and ammunition — Unwanted firearms and ammunition can be turned in to the police department at any time for safe destruction. If firearms or ammunition cannot be transported safely and legally, an officer will come to the residence to retrieve them.
• Firearms Prohibition Orders — Under the Firearms Prohibition Orders Act, family members, household
members and law enforcement can petition the circuit court to remove a person’s access to firearms, based on evidence that the person poses a danger to themselves or others. The police department can provide additional information and assistance with these questions.

Village of Kenilworth

• Free gun safety kits are available from the Kenilworth Police Department. Contact Agent Holger Bucks at (847) 251-2141 for more information.

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