WestCare Wisconsin's Youth Advisory Council giving out free gun locks to protect kids

Posted at 10:48 PM, May 24, 2017
and last updated 2017-05-24 23:48:44-04

 A group of local teenagers is tired of preventable gun accidents in Milwaukee, and have decided to take action by providing gun locks to residents for free.

"It starts at home, really," said Devin Davis.

Davis, 18, was headed down the wrong path when he lost his best friend to gun violence. It was a painful wake-up call for him, to turn his life around.

"I thought negativity was the only way out," Davis said. "But then, I found people who cared, and realized there was a way for me to overcome the anger and hurt I was feeling."

And that was by helping others like him. Davis is now the president of the WestCare Wisconsin's Youth Advisory Council. Master Lock recently chose the group to distribute 1,000 free gun locks.

"We want to share the importance of being responsible," Davis said. "It's free and easy to use a gun lock. Lives are at stake. We're calling our campaign 'Love Up, Lock Down.'"

The city of Milwaukee is also donating to their efforts to promote gun safety.

"This is an opportunity for you to do something if you're a gun owner yourself. If you're a parent yourself and want to make sure your children and the young people in your home are as safe as they can be," said Alderwoman Milele Coggs. "As a mother myself, I'm sure I can speak for all parents when I say that whenever we hear of a baby getting access to a gun at home, our hearts just sink."

Davis and his team will go door to door in the area where a two-year-old accidentally shot himself, near 36th and Wright.

Neighbors there are heartbroken about what happened.

"We're praying for the family," said Jacqueline Wright. "You have to be so careful. Kids don't know. They think it's a play gun. People need to put these guns away. Too many kids are getting a hold of them. If something happened to my babies, I don't know what I would do."

The two-year-old is expected to make a full recovery.

If you're interested in getting a free gun lock, WestCare Wisconsin's Youth Advisory Council will be passing them out this weekend at the annual "Heal the Hood" block party at 10th and Atkinson. The event goes from noon to 6 p.m. both Saturday and Sunday.