Local non-profit speaks up after rise in gun sales

Local non-profit speaks up after rise in gun sales

LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WAVE) - A dramatic increase in gun sales and a rise in suicide nationwide has one Kentucky non-profit getting the word out on gun safety.

Firearms sales saw a large increase in 2020. The Firearm Industry Trade Association reported a 95 percent increase in gun sales, that is a reported five million new first time gun buyers in the US.

For some like Whitney Austin, this increase is a major concern.

Austin survived a mass shooting in Cincinnati back in September 2018.

“I was shot 12 times. I thought that I was walking into work, just like any other day and I walked into a mass shooting,” Whitney Austin, Executive Director of The Whitney Strong Organization said.

That shooting happened at the Fifth Third Bank Headquarters. Three people were killed by the shooter 29-year-old Omar Perez, who was shot by police officers.

It was that moment in her life that birthed her non-profit Whitney Strong. The organization advocates for gun safety.

“And gun locks are a very good solution for providing gun violence,” Austin said.

Members of St. Stephen Church attended a virtual gun safety class, and afterwards, were given free gun locks.

The group pushes for these locks, saying they can help prevent suicide, accidents, and gun violence.

“Gun locks can make a difference that is one simple thing that you can do,” Austin said.

Click here to learn more about the Whitney Strong Organization.

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