BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - East Baton Rouge Mayor-President Sharon Weston Broome is joining up with numerous agencies to launch a project designed to encourage responsible firearm ownership and storage.
The mayor’s office is partnering with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Louisiana, the National Shooting Sports Foundation (NSSF), and other Baton Rouge area leaders.
Project ChildSafe Baton Rouge will be a year-long, community effort to prevent accidents with firearms, thefts, and misuse, including suicides. As part of the campaign, organizations will help spread the message about the importance of safe firearm storage and will work to distribute thousands of free firearm safety kits, including a gun lock, to Baton Rouge area residents.
Part of the campaign is a series of public service announcements aimed at curbing gun violence. The commercials feature several parents who are victims of violent crime.
“This is a mother’s pain,” said Elizabeth Robinson, whose son was gunned down in 2018 on Cadillac Street. ”This is a nightmare, I mean, it feels like a dream that I just haven’t woken up from. You know, so parents, you don’t want to walk in these shoes, I promise you.”
Robinson is using her pain to prevent other people from falling victim.
"If I can touch one family, one child, I think I've succeeded,” she said.
The ads teach people how to properly secure firearms and deescalate situations that could become violent.
"People, lock your cars, secure weapons in your homes, report stolen weapons immediately,” said Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul. “If you lose your weapon, if your weapon is stolen, you can't find it, report it to law enforcement immediately."
Robinson says for these practices to work, it will take everyone.
"Law enforcement can only do so much, but we are the people that are living in these communities and I think it’s us who’s going to have to come together and say we’re going to save our community,” Robinson said.
If you know something about a violent crime or a situation that could turn violent, you are urged to speak out and call Crime Stoppers at 225-344-7867.
This project will officially be announced Saturday, Sept. 7 at BRPD headquarters.
Watch the public service announcements below: