The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statement today after the Colorado House of Representatives passed HB21-1106, which would require firearms that a juvenile or prohibited person might be able to access to be securely stored when not under the control of the gun owner. The bill goes next to the Senate.
“Too many Coloradans have had their lives forever changed by unintentional shootings or by guns getting into the wrong hands,” said Mary Parker, gun owner and volunteer with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This bill will help prevent unintentional shootings, gun suicides, and gun violence on school grounds. As a gun owner, I know that secure storage saves lives, and I appreciate our legislators taking this major step forward and urge the Senate to now send this potentially life-saving measure to the governor’s desk.”
“We know that gun violence is preventable, especially when it comes to something as simple as securely storing firearms,” said Jayla Hemphill, a volunteer with Students Demand Action at the Northfield High School in Denver. “The House today voted to prevent unintentional shootings, gun suicides, and gun violence in schools, and they in turn stood with and protected students all over the state.”
What to know about secure storage of firearms in Colorado:
- 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 suicides. In incidents of gunfire on school grounds, up to 80 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 is 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.