Mayor Tom Barrett to gun owners: 'Get a gun lock'

Activists hand out locks after child shot, killed

MILWAUKEE - Monday evening, community activists with WestCare Wisconsin went door to door in a Milwaukee neighborhood to hand out free gun locks.

The group is leading a campaign in the city on gun safety. City leaders said they planned to hand out 300 free locks Monday. 

The group plans to canvass the same neighborhood, 38th and Ruby Streets, where 9-year-old Miyanna Jelks called home. According to Milwaukee Police, Jelks’ brother accidentally shot and killed Miyanna Saturday inside their home where a total of seven children lived. 

During a news conference Monday afternoon, Milwaukee Mayor Tom Barrett made a plea to families with firearms. 

“If you’ve got a gun in your home get a gun lock.”

Milwaukee police told TODAY'S TMJ4 in 2017 five children under the age of 17 were shot to death in the city. Miyanna Jelks’ death is the first shooting death of a child in Milwaukee in 2018. 

“We have available gun locks for individuals and families so that this tragedy is never repeated again in this city,” Barrett said. 

Besides community activists, Alderwoman for the 6th district, Milele Coggs spoke at Monday’s news conference. 

“There is no excuse it is free and if can save the life of another child so that we don’t have to be sitting at another press conference like this, then it is worth it,” Coggs said. 

All week long, free gun locks will be given out at different Milwaukee locations. Click here to see where

Milwaukee County District Attorney’s Office said it has not yet received Miyanna Jelks’ case, so it’s unclear, what charges Miyanna’s parents face. 

A representative from the district attorney’s office said the juvenile son will have his case reviewed at Children’s Court and since he’s a minor, that information is not made public. 

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