The Boulder County District Attorney’s Office held an event distributing free gun locks and safes on Saturday, Sept. 16. The event was held in collaboration with the Longmont Community Foundation and the Longmont United Church of Christ to prevent gun violence.
Just under 400 safes and locks were purchased through state grants, and members of the community lined up to claim them well before the official starting time of the event.
“Our office is committed to reducing and preventing gun violence,” said Boulder DA Michael Dougherty. “So many of our shootings happen with guns that have been previously owned by a responsible gun owner but not kept in the most secure fashion.”
Boulder’s own history with gun violence, such as the 2021 Table Mesa King Soopers shooting, is a motivating factor for the community to increase precautions.
Barbara Kase, a student support member at Boulder Technical Education Center, spoke about her motivation for helping run such an event. She said she was involved in active shooter training at Broomfield High School.
“Ever since then, [gun safety has] been something that’s been on my mind,” she said.
The American Academy of Pediatrics reported that 13% of homes with firearms contain at least one unlocked and loaded gun. By safely securing firearms, the risk of gun violence decreases.
The precautions aim to help protect the community at large but also University of Colorado Boulder students. CU Regent policy 14-I allows citizens over 21 with a concealed carry weapons permit to bring concealed weapons on campus. Gun safes and locks can help to ensure that firearms are being handled safely.
“This will help protect people in the community and also students on campus by making sure gun owners are, in fact, being responsible,” Dougherty said.
Colorado Faith Communities United to End Gun Violence plans to continue to host safety and education events.
“We can start by changing the culture because it begins with safe storage,” said Beth Smith, a member of the organization.
Contact CU Independent staff writer Greta Kerkhoff at Greta.Kerkhoff@colorado.edu.