Locks at the Library: Increasing Community Access to Safe Storage

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In Anne Arundel County, Maryland, between 2020 and 2023 an average of 140 residents annually visited a hospital due to a gun-related injury, which is a 23% increase compared to previous years. The county’s public library, in partnership with the health department, set out to increase protective measures against gun injury by developing a gun lock distribution program. Safe storage is a proven strategy for improving gun safety and preventing harm or unintended access. The program aimed to increase access to safe storage devices by providing free gun cable locks to resident adults through distribution at local library branches, community events and through home visits. The program launched in 2023 as a pilot at three county library locations. In the first ten months of distribution, community members have picked up a total of 4,871 gun locks, demonstrating the opportunity for local jurisdictions to distribute gun locks through local partners to expand the reach of gun storage devices.

This webinar supports the mission of the NNLM through the initiative of environmental determinants of health by increasing prevention of gun violence in built environment communities. 


  • Describe the partnership between Anne Arundel County Public Library and the Anne Arundel Department of Health with shared aim of preventing gun violence.
  • Explain the process and resources for establishing a gun lock distribution program.
  • Discuss programmatic measures and lessons learned.



Gloria Harberts, Southern Area Regional Manager, Anne Arundel County Public Library 

Dr. Tonii Gedin, RN, DNP, Health Officer, Anne Arundel County Department of Health 


CALL Training Partner for this Event: National Library of Medicine