Norfolk Police are keeping the ‘Guns Down’ momentum going with this partnership

Norfolk police officers come together with residents in the Ocean View neighborhood for the final Guns Down Movement event of the summer. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of the Norfolk Police Department)
Norfolk police officers come together with residents in the Ocean View neighborhood for the final Guns Down Movement event of the summer. (Southside Daily/Courtesy of the Norfolk Police Department)

NORFOLK — Throughout the summer, Police Chief Larry Boone has made his way around the city as part of the department’s new “Guns Down Movement.”

Boone brought neighbors from Olde Huntersville, Berkley, Norview, and Ocean View together to heighten awareness around gun violence and firearm safety hazards through four family-friendly outreach events.

“We are losing generations to gun violence — We put emphasis on securing our homes, cars, bikes and valuable possessions, let’s put an emphasis on securing our firearms,” Boone said in a news release.

Although the last event was on Aug. 8, police said the conversations surrounding firearm safety will continue and even be “strengthened” through their partnership with Project ChildSafe, the largest comprehensive firearms safety education program in the U.S.

“A gun that is absent of its rightful owner, could wind up in the hands of anyone, and used in the commission of a crime,” Norfolk Police representatives said. “However, any type of gun violence, or the irresponsibility of a gun owner, is a detriment to public safety.”

And, with a donation of 300 gun-safety locks for free issue to residents who “file a report for lost or stolen guns,” or apply for a concealed weapons permit — this partnership is making responsible gun ownership that much easier.

“Our officers are committed to the provision of safe and healthy neighborhoods and the legal right of citizens to bear arms — working together makes us all that much safer,” they said.

Spokespeople for Norfolk Police said residents who receive a free gun lock will also get the directions and a Project ChildSafe brochure with “other options for securing firearms.”

Responsible firearm owners who’d like to receive a free gun-safety lock and information from Project ChildSafe should go the Norfolk Police Operations Center, 3661 Virginia Beach Blvd., Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

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Lucretia Cunningham is a multimedia journalist at Southside Daily covering hyper-local stories in Virginia Beach and Norfolk. Her stories focus on public safety, tourism, and city government. She is a Virginia transplant and military spouse originally from Chicago. Lucretia also served on active duty from 2006 to 2016 and started her journalism career as a broadcaster in the Virginia Air National Guard. When she’s not covering stories on the Southside, she’s covering stories with her Air National Guard unit.