Hundreds of guns were stolen out of cars and homes in Denver in 2022 — some of which ended up in the hands of juveniles, according to Denver police.
Overall gun thefts in the city have increased by 85% since 2019, data shows. Nearly 1,000 guns were stolen from cars, cars that were stolen and homes that were burglarized. And there have been six accidental shootings as a result of juveniles gaining access to a weapon inside of a home — four of those incidents were fatal just this year alone, said Ron Thomas, police chief at the Denver Police Department.
But there are practical steps people can take to keep guns out of reach. Thomas said many accidental deaths come as a result of using guns that were stolen and unsecured in people’s homes and cars.
Denver police, in partnership with five parks and recreational centers across the city, recently provided free gun locks for the public to help assist people in locking up their weapons, Thomas said. Police said more than 100 gun locks were distributed during the giveaway. Anyone interested in getting a lock can contact their local police district office.
Gun locks are devices that can be looped through the magazine chamber of a gun where a round would go, and it can also be looped through the ejection port of the gun. This will prevent the gun from being able to be loaded, Thomas added.
“When you’re storing your firearm in your home, I think it’s important to use a locking mechanism and then store it in a safe so that it can’t be accessed by not only other family members, but by someone breaking into your home,” Thomas said.
Denver police provided tips and resources for safeguarding guns and keeping them away from others:
- Never store guns in your car. Cars get broken into pretty regularly, unfortunately.
- Keep guns in a secure, locked safe.
- Use gun locks on the gun itself to ensure the weapon(s) are unable to be fired.