Philadelphia man trying to save lives through free gun lock initiative

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- We are Philly Proud of a Germantown man who has dedicated his career and life to fighting gun violence.

Scott Charles holds the title of trauma outreach manager at Temple University Hospital, and sadly several family traumas involving gun violence put him on the path to get there.

"You only need to see a child who has been a victim of gun violence once to really understand how important this is," he said.

Charles said that just last year alone, 299 school-aged children suffered gunshot injuries in Philadelphia.

"This is a city who had more than 2,200 victims overall who were shot," he said. "There are a number of variables that have contributed to that and certainly the pandemic has exacerbated a city that was already struggling with the problem of gun violence."

In his mission to help, he has created a program sponsored by Temple University Hospital that will give away free gun locks to anyone in a Philadelphia zip code, no questions asked.

"The hope is really -- particularly at a time when we have children who are home all day and with an influx of firearms in this country -- we want to reduce the likelihood of kids accidentally shooting themselves," he said.

Since the program started about four years ago, they have given away more than 7,000 gun locks.

"It really is such a preventable issue. So one of the things that we want to do is if you need it, just reach out through our website and we will mail one directly to your home. And if you want to make arrangements to come pick one up, I'm happy to meet you to do that," he said. "If I can leave any lasting mark it's that we have an equal or greater appreciation for gun safety."

"I'm going to do everything I can to try to reduce the number of children that are impacted by this," Charles added.
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