Lock It for Love

“Lock It for Love”

a community outreach and education program whose purpose is:

  • To educate the community about gun safety, with a focus on prevention of death or injury caused by guns kept in homes.
  • To distribute free gun locks, particularly in areas where children are at greatest risk of gun violence

Gun Locks Can Help Prevent Suicide 

Dr. Kristen Mueller, a Washington University Emergency Medicine physician (and a member of Women’s Voices), treats gun violence as a public health issue.  As coordinator of the C.A.L.M. program in the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Emergency Department, Dr. Mueller and her colleagues talk with patients who are at risk for suicide about prevention strategies.  They help patients who have access to guns develop a plan for safe storage, including using gun locks.  So far, the Emergency Department staff has provided patients with 24 gun locks.

Information about the C.A.L.M. program was shared at a Firearm Injury Prevention Symposium on August 7, sponsored by Washington University, the Institute of Public Health and the Barnes-Jewish Hospital Division of Emergency Medicine.  Women’s Voices members attending were Andrea Bauman, Lise Bernstein, Barbara Harris and Mary Schuman.

Women’s Voices provides free gun locks to the Emergency Departments at Barnes-Jewish Hospital and St. Louis Children’s Hospital as part of our “Lock It for Love” community education project.

Did you know?

  • Missouri suicide rate ranks 13th in the nation.
  • Only about half of emergency room doctors in the US ask patients at risk for suicide if they have access to guns in the home.
  • More than half of people who die by suicide in Missouri use a gun
  • In Missouri, white males over age 55 are at the highest risk of suicide
  • Suicide is the second leading cause of death in college aged youth and those 12-18 years old

118 Gun Locks Given at Back To School Store

July 29, 2018While an estimated 1,400 children chose school supplies and clothing at the St.Louis National Council of Jewish Women Back to School Store, the parents/caregivers waited in the resource room where Women’s Voices had a display table for #lockitforlove. By the end of the day 118 gun locks had been given away thanks to volunteers Andrea Bauman, Judy Burke, Mary Clemons, John and Judi Jennetten, Abbey Northcutt, Nancy Price and Helena Webb.

In addition to giving locks, we provide information. Candice said her family wants her to get a gun. She keeps saying, NO. We showed her our brochure with information she can give her family showing why having a gun in the home does not make it safer.

Wanda talked with Judy Burke and decided she needs a gun lock. After Judy showed her how to put the lock on the gun she thanks Judy and took the lock.

click on photos to enlarge.

It Would Have Slowed Her Down!

On July 10, 2018, Brenda Phillips was staffing a Lock It for Love table at the WIC Clinic, in Kennett, MO. A young woman approached and said, “I wish my sister had known about these locks. It would have slowed her down.” She went on to explain that her twin sister, Dalyn Callihan, had died by suicide with a gun on April 24, 2018, her 25th birthday. Click here to read more.

Lock It for Love Celebrates its One-Year Anniversary in Kansas City

Since their first event July 29, 2017, Grandparents Against Gun Violencevolunteers have participated in 41 events and distributed 837 free gun locks to recipients from 167 zip codes in the Kansas City metro area! They have attended safety fairs, festivals, and Boys & Girls Club parent meetings.  They are joined at their events by local police officers who demonstrate how to properly use the locks.  They have received support from Kansas City Missouri, Kansas City Kansas, Independence, Overland Park and Gardner police departments.

Congratulations, Grandparents!   We are proud that Lock It for Love is a state-wide initiative.

Barbara Finch Receives Jeff-Vander-Lou Community Award of Social Justice and Equality

July 7, 2018


Women’s Voices member Barbara Finch received the Jeff-Vander-Lou Community Award of Social Justice and Equality on July 7 at the Jeff-Vander-Lou Family and Community Resources and Health Fair. In presenting the award, Pastor Fredrick Lemons of St. John Missionary Baptist Church said the Women’s Voices Lock It for Love Program that Barbara organized has given free gun locks to more than 3,000 families to prevent accidental gun injuries and deaths


“Our Woman In Cape Girardeau”

During the month of June, Brenda Phillips attended 8 events and gave away 141 gun locks.   She has been to a resource fair in Bollinger County; Women Infant Children (WIC) clinics in Kennett, Ste. Genevieve, Charleston, Malden and Poplar Bluff; a large fair in Lilbourn; and a “fatherhood” event in Hayti.   She is a real go-getter who is committed to “Lock It for Love”.

So far this year, Brenda has distributed 432 gun locks.

She is seen here at the Resource Fair in Bollinger County.     Click on the photo to enlarge.


Lock it For Love Receives Grant from Cardinals Care

May 18, 2018

On a very rainy day Ruth Ehresman, co-president of Women’s Voices, and Mary Schuman, co-chair of the Women’s Voices Campaign for Common-sense Gun Solutions Committee, went to Busch Stadium to accept a check in the amount of $1,840 from Cardinals Care.  The grant is for the purpose of purchasing gun locks for our “lock It for Love” program. Cardinal announcer Dan McLaughlin was the MC, and player Greg Garcia and owner Bill DeWitt III spoke at the event.

Seen in the photo are Ruth and her grandchildren while they listen to Greg Garcia talk about Cardinals Care. Cardinals Care was established to give fans a way of teaming up with Cardinals players and the organization to help children in the St. Louis community.

173 Gun Locks Given at Lock It for Love Event at City Hall

Friday, April 27, Women’s Voices held a gun lock give-away at St. Louis City Hall.  Sponsors of the event included the City of St. Louis; the Department of Health, City of St. Louis; SSM-Health Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital and SSM-Health St. Louis University Hospitals.    Seen here are the stalwart members of our Lock It for Love group who talked with people who came to the display table:  back row – Sue Flanagan, Michelle Leech, Joan Park, Andrea Bauman, Barbara Harris; seated – Mary Clemons, Joanne Kelly and Barbara Finch.

We were pleased to have Captain Janice Bockstruck stop by in the afternoon and talk with people who came for gun locks. She is seen here demonstrating how to use the lock.    Capt. Bockstruck worked with us 3 years ago when we began the Lock It for Love initiative. We demonstrate how to install the lock when people come by our display, but we also give them the link to a video they can watch at home that features Capt. Bockstruck.  See video here


People thanked us for our presence at City Hall.   Jerry Gill made a special point to come and get a gun lock.   He told us that his friend is the mother of a child recently killed in an unintentional shooting by a sibling.   He talked to a Channel 4 KMOV-TV reporter as he left, saying, “Everyone who owns a gun should have a lock.” 

First 3 Months of 2018!

We have started out the year by attending events at health fairs and food pantries in the St. Louis area.  Our volunteers at the Trinity Food Pantry in the Central West End offered free gun locks to individuals who came to the pantry and engaged people in conversations about gun safety. They reported that Trinity has an impressive and welcoming program where a communal meal is served, people linger for conversation and get lots of hugs and expressions of concern. The faith community nurse provides private health consultations.  At the Home Health and Energy Resource Fair in St. Ann sponsored by the Community Action Agency of St. Louis County we had a busy time and  there were a lot of organizations that participated and many residents who stopped by the Lock It for Love display table.  So far this year 70 locks have been given in the St. Louis area.

Our Cape Girardeau contingent has been busy too!   64 locks have been given to people at public health and children’s health clinics.

Thanks to our volunteers.

Amy & Paul Inman

How Will We Pay for Gun Locks?

The Lock It for Love Committee has a goal of distributing 1,800 locks during 2018.   “Lock It for Love” is funded by grants and contributions from individuals. When Women’s Voices member Amy Inman saw the horrifying images of the February 14 Parkland, Florida high school shooting, she had to do something. “It was heartbreaking and I felt compelled to act,” Amy said.  She and her husband Paul gave a gift of $5,000 to help fund our program.   This generous gift will provide for the purchase of 962 cable gun locks.  

Our Woman in Cape Girardeau!

March 14, 2018

Brenda Phillips, our partner from the Episcopal Diocese, is a “lock It for Love” dynamo. Brenda is working with public health agencies in Missouri and with organizations such as WIC (Women, Infant and Children nutrition program).   This photo was taken when she had a display at a WIC clinic in Butler County.  So far this year Brenda has distributed 84 free gun locks.