AUSTIN, Texas, May 12 -- Gov. George W. Bush Friday announced a child safety program providing free gun locks in Texas and said he would push for it nationwide if elected president.
"Providing free child safety locks to parents is a common-sense, practical way that government can help parents improve safety in their homes," said the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
Bush said his "Project ChildSafe" program would go further than most current trigger-lock legislation that affects only new guns. He added he would sign that legislation, however, if it was passed.
Bush said his national program would make the safety locks available for every one of the estimated 65 million handguns in the United States. He would seek $325 million in federal matching funds for the project.
"This is a proactive approach that will help many parents make their homes safer," he said.
In addition to the matching funds, the national "Project ChildSafe" program would provide $10 million a year for administrative costs and an advertising campaign, with a toll-free number for information.
Bush will start the program in Texas immediately with $5 million from the Governor's Criminal Justice Division. The governor's office will work with local law enforcement to distribute the locks.
In a related comment about the Million Mom March on Sunday, Bush said he hoped marchers realize one of the most effective ways to meet their goal is to enforce current gun laws.
"I appreciate the moms marching," he said. "Like moms and dads across America, I want to reduce gun violence in our society. I hope the marchers will also recognize that one of the best ways to reduce gun violence is to strictly enforce existing laws."