The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement after Colorado lawmakers introduced HB21-1106, a bill to require firearms that a juvenile or prohibited person might be able to access be securely stored when not under the control of the gun owner, and SB21-078, which would require gun owners to report to law enforcement when a gun is lost or stolen.
“These are common-sense policies that would promote responsible gun ownership, and can help prevent unintentional shootings, gun suicides, gun violence on school grounds, and stolen guns being used in crimes,” said Emma McCarthy, a volunteer with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action. “We applaud our lawmakers for introducing these important bills, and will work tirelessly by their side until they become law.”
Secure firearm storage reduces the risk of gun violence, particularly among children, by helping to prevent unintentional shootings and gun suicides. Firearms are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Colorado. In Colorado, an average of 63 children and teens die by guns every year, and 59 percent of these deaths are suicide. In incidents of gunfire on school grounds, 74 percent of shooters under the age of 18 obtained their guns from home or the homes of relatives or friends.
Last year, the Denver Public Schools Board of Education unanimously voted to approve a resolution to require information be sent home with students to educate parents on their responsibility to securely store their firearms.
According to the #NotAnAccident Index, which tracks unintentional shootings by children since 2015, nearly 350 American children under the age of 18 gain access to a firearm and unintentionally shoot themselves or someone else each year — equalling almost one unintentional shooting per day. Additionally, nearly 700 children die by gun suicide each year, most often using guns belonging to a family member. A 2019 study estimated that if half of households with children switched from leaving their guns unlocked to responsibly storing them all locked, one-third of youth gun suicides and unintentional deaths could be prevented – saving an estimated 251 lives in a single year.
More information about secure storage legislation here. Statistics about gun violence in Colorado are available here, and information on how Colorado’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here.