HYDE COUNTY, N.C. (WITN) – Firearms were the leading cause of death in children in 2022 according to the Kaiser Family Foundation.
The Hyde County Department of Social Services and Trillium Health Resources are making efforts to ensure the safety of both children and adults when it comes to guns.
Alishia Holloway, Hyde County DSS Worker says, “We go into a lot of households where there’s a lot of firearms. We live in Hyde County so of course there’s a lot of hunters here so most of them have guns so we thought we could give these to our families to put on their guns to keep their children safe.”
Holloway is referring to a donation of gun locks from Trillium following an increase in gun violence.
“It’s important because I believe 167 kids were accidentally involved in an accidental shooting last year in the state of North Carolina. That’s 167 too many. If out of these thousand gun locks, we can prevent one, that is money very well spent,” Sean Kenny, Trillium Social Services Engagement Head told WITN.
Trillium and Hyde County DSS’ intention is to prevent such gun violence by providing a simple design. Kenny says, “The weapon does have to be unloaded so that is an advantage. It would typically come through the barrel and just loop around and be locked and it’s that simple. The slide on a semi-automatic weapon cannot come back on a revolver, the barrel has to be on the outside of the gun and then it would load through the muzzle.”
Holloway says the ultimate goal is safety and not seeing others experience the heartache of gun violence or unintended, accidental shootings.
“Our hope is that we will prevent that from happening, that we will prevent any child loss due to guns not being locked up or safe. I just don’t want to see any child hurting. Of course, our job on a daily basis is to make sure children are safe and that’s just one step in that direction.”
Holloway also says there is also a need for smoke detectors in the county. She encourages anyone who can donate to stop by the Hyde County DSS office.
Along with Hyde County, other counties in the east like Pitt and Nash will also receive donations according to Kenny.