MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Shelby County is taking a new step in the ongoing fight against gun violence. This week, the county will start mailing free gun locks to people who order them.

When it comes to gun violence, Memphis and Shelby County have certainly seen their share of it. Even though homicides decreased last year, according to MPD, Chief CJ Davis recently told the city council her department is working to reduce aggravated assaults and shootings.

“Aggravated assaults could be a homicide. So, to see reductions in the number of shootings also contributes to the reductions of homicides as well,” Davis said.

There’s a new effort to help protect the public by locking up more guns. The Shelby County Gun Council on Gun Safety is now offering free gun locks – one per household – that will be mailed to those who live in Shelby County.

“We will send you a gun lock by mail and this is for responsible gun owners who want to make sure their gun doesn’t end up in a criminal stream,” said Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris.

A Shelby County Government video shows how the gun lock works.

This is not just for gun owners. You can order the locks for a family member, or a friend who needs one. On Wednesday, WREG had the chance to talk to Shelby County Mayor Lee Harris about it.

Mayor Harris expects this to be a permanent program.

“We have more cases of accidental discharge in Memphis and Shelby County than anywhere in the state,” Mayor Harris said. “We have more guns stolen from cars in our community than anywhere in the county, and one of the ways we do something about both of those is safe storage and gun locks.”

Harris also said the gun locks could help reduce the number of suicides.

“One of the things you can do to prevent suicide. People under strain and at their breaking point, a moment of reflection and a lock does that,” he said.

The Mayor’s office says one person who signed up for the gun lock said, “It’s important to keep items out of the wrong hands. especially items that can quickly do harm.”

Another person said, “I would not want my granddaughter to come across my gun.”

If you’d like to order a gun lock, you can order one from the Shelby County government.