Law Enforcement Partners

Gun Safety For Juveniles Begins With Responsible Ownership By Adults

The Problem

Over the past few years, our Larimer County community has lost too many young people to gun violence. 

A total of 613 stolen firearms and 4,595 vehicle trespasses were reported across the county from 2016-2018. Many of those guns were unsecured in homes or vehicles and ended up in the hands of our county’s youths. In 2019, there were 188 reported guns stolen and 1,472 vehicle trespasses in Larimer County.

The Campaign

We believe every resident has shared ownership of our community’s safety. We also believe in empowering people to make the best decisions for themselves and their families through access to fact-based, safety-focused information.

Following months of research and collaboration, a coalition of about 20 law enforcement partners, government agencies, and school districts launched a multi-tiered gun safety awareness campaign. Started in July 2019, the campaign is designed to provide education and resources to community members.

Focus areas include:

  • Responsible gun ownership and safe handling and storage of firearms.
  • Encouraging students to report concerning behaviors or guns in school using tools such as Safe2Tell.
  • Working with youth in the criminal justice system who have been involved in gun-related incidents.

The Coalition

The 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office
Larimer County Sheriff’s Office
Fort Collins Police Services
Loveland Police Department
Windsor Police Department
Timnath Police Department
Estes Park Police Department
CSU Police Department
Poudre School District
Thompson School District
Park School District
Larimer County Health & Environment
Larimer County Human Services
Colorado Department of Human Services 
Division of Youth Services
Larimer County Probation
Larimer County Attorney’s Office
Juvenile Legal Defense Representative
Colorado Youth Detention Continuum
Center for Family Outreach
UC Health
Boys & Girls Club
Colorado State Patrol
Imagine Zero of Larimer County
Alliance for Suicide Prevention of Larimer County
City of Fort Collins Restorative Justice Services

Juvenile Gun Safety Partners

  • Always keep the firearm’s muzzle pointed in a safe direction. A “safe direction” means that the gun is pointed so that even if an accidental discharge occurred, it would not result in injury.
  • Always keep your finger off the trigger until you actually intend to shoot. When handling a gun, rest your finger outside the trigger guard or along the side of the gun. Don’t touch the trigger until you are actually ready to fire.
  • Firearms should be unloaded when not actually in use. Whenever you pick up a gun, such as when removing it from or returning it to storage, remember to point it in a safe direction and make sure it is unloaded.
  • Be sure you know how your firearm operates: read the manual on your firearm, know how to safely open and close the action of the firearm and know how to safely remove any ammunition from the firearm and its magazine.
  • Store your firearms in a locked cabinet, safe, gun vault or storage case when not in use, ensuring they are in a location inaccessible by children and cannot be handled by anyone without your permission.
  • Store your ammunition in a locked location separate from firearms.
  • Use a gun locking device that renders the firearm inoperable when not in use. A gun lock should be used as an additional safety precaution and not as a substitute for secure storage.
  • Make sure young people in your home are aware of and understand the safety guidelines concerning firearms. Have them sign the Project ChildSafe Pledge for young people—a reminder that if they find an unattended firearm in their home or a neighbor’s to not touch it, and tell an adult.
  • Always unload, clean and place your firearms in their secure storage location immediately after returning from a hunting trip or a day at the range.
  • Educate everyone in your family about firearms safety.

SummitStone’s Community Crisis Center, 1217 Riverside Ave. in Fort Collins, is available 24/7 at 970-494-4200 for crisis concerns, including suicide assessments. 

Additional community resources for supporting your child with grief and loss include:

The Larimer County Sheriff's Office Auxiliary Unit provides gun safety education materials and free gun locks at many public events. To request a presentation or find out about upcoming events they will be attending, please contact the Sheriff's Auxiliary Unit coordinator at 970-498-5159.

2019 Statistics

 (For all Larimer County law enforcement agencies reporting)

Vehicle Trespasses......... TOTAL:  1,472

Reported Guns Stolen... TOTAL:  188

2016 - 2018 Statistics

Vehicle Trespasses......... TOTAL:  4,595 (2016-18)

Fort Collins




Larimer County (Including Berthoud and Wellington)




Estes Park





Reported Guns Stolen... TOTAL:  613 (2016-18)

Fort Collins


Larimer County (Including Berthoud and Wellington)




Estes Park