The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statements today after the Colorado Senate 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 now goes to the governor’s desk.
“One of the simplest ways to prevent gun violence is to ensure that guns are stored securely,” said Barbara Niederhoff, volunteer with the Colorado chapter of Moms Demand Action. “This bill will help prevent unintentional shootings, gun suicides, and gun violence on school grounds. We look forward to Governor Polis signing this common-sense measure into law.”
“Secure storage is a practice that protects all Coloradans, but especially students and young people,” said Hannah Sanders, a volunteer with Students Demand Action at University of Colorado Boulder. “The idea that children and teens are losing their lives to gun violence because guns aren’t securely stored is scary and illogical. The Senate today voted to protect students all over the state, and we are anxious for the governor to do the same with his signature.”
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.