"It Only Takes a Moment"

The Larimer County Juvenile Gun Safety Coalition launched a new public service campaign on May 17th - look below to see the new video and press release.

It only takes a moment to safely store firearms and save a life


It Only Takes a Moment

 
It can happen without warning, and life is needlessly lost. Teen suicide is the leading cause of death of young people in Colorado, and teenagers often don’t show warning signs at home.
 
It only takes a moment for a teen to make an impulsive decision to take their lives when they find themselves in a dark place with nowhere to turn, and access to firearms.
 
"Too frequently, we see families experience the highest tragedy when they lose a child to suicide. A real, meaningful way to help protect your family is to properly secure your firearms when not in use. It only takes a moment. If you own it, respect it, and secure it,” said Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith.

The Larimer County Juvenile Gun Safety Coalition has joined with many organizations to foster awareness of gun safety and teens struggling with mental health issues with the “It Only Takes a Moment” campaign covering gun safety tips and teen mental health awareness.

“Everyone can help to save a life, and it’s easier than you think,” said Rachel Olsen, Imagine Zero Coordinator, Alliance for Suicide Prevention. “Lock up your guns so your children can’t access them in a moment of crisis.”

It only takes a moment for a teen struggling with mental health issues to take their own life. Still, it also only takes a moment for a responsible gun owner to safely store and secure their firearms to eliminate an impulsive, tragic, and life-changing decision.
 
“Unfortunately, we do see a number of patients in our emergency departments every year who have attempted suicide by a number of methods. However, we don’t see suicide by gun when everything is locked up,” said Dr. Jamie Teumer, a longtime emergency physician in northern Colorado and Medical Director of UCHealth Medical Center of the Rockies in Loveland. “The most difficult situation is when the attempt comes out of the blue and no one had any inkling that this could possibly happen. That’s why it’s important for anyone who owns a gun to make sure it is always stored responsibly. It’s a simple step that can save a life.”

Adults can take several steps to prevent teen suicide:
  • Responsibly store and secure all guns and firearms from children.
  • Talk about gun safety with your kids.
  • Pay attention to a child’s behavior more attentively and encourage students to report concerning behavior or guns in school using tools such as Safe2Tell.
 
The Larimer County Juvenile Gun Safety Coalition thanks Big Waves Inc. and UCHealth for their contributions and support,
which made this new campaign possible.

Campaign Videos

See the "It Only Takes a Moment" full video and vignettes (5 short clips).

More Information

Please take the time to look over our webpage - more info & resources can be found in the other tabs, organized by key topic.

The Problem

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

From 2016 to 2019, a total of 801 stolen firearms and 6,067 vehicle trespasses were reported across Larimer County.  Many of those guns were unsecured in homes or vehicles and ended up in the hands of our county’s youths.

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, in July 2019 a coalition of partner organizations launched a multi-tiered gun safety awareness campaign to provide education and resources to community members.  See the 2019 campaign launch article.

This 2019 campaign featured a public service announcement video that emphasized the importance of safely securing firearms. 

See the 2019 video on YouTube.

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.  Learn more about one of the initiatives that came out of this campaign:  "It Only Takes a Moment" - Impact of Crime Class.

The Coalition

Gun Safety For Juveniles Begins With Responsible Ownership By Adults

  • 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.

If you are experiencing a life-threatening emergency, call 911.

If you are experiencing a mental health emergency, contact one of the crisis help resources below:

For Larimer County crisis help, including suicide assessments, contact:

For statewide crisis help, contact:

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

If you are a business or organization that wants to join us in promoting gun safety, we would like to help.  You can request our printed rack cards and posters for display via our online Supply Request Form below. 

Supply Request Form

To view our rack cards & poster and download our digital resources (including social media graphics), please go to our Toolkits tab.

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.

The Larimer County Juvenile Gun Safety Coalition provides free gun locks upon request via our online Supply Request Form below. Please note that the gun locks we provide are not for resale. Our gun locks are only for free distribution to the public to promote responsible gun ownership. 

Supply Request Form

Project Childsafe Cable-style Gun Lock Installation Instructions

cable-style_gun_lock_photo.jpg

We are pleased to share the below files and links to help with your efforts in promoting gun safety; however, we ask that you do not alter the text or images in any manner without our permission.

Print Materials Toolkit

Downloadable PDF Files for printing:

Rack Card 1 (front & back) Rack Card 2 (front & back) Poster

rack_card-suicide_prevention_1.jpg rack_card-suicide_prevention_2.jpg

download

rack_card_family_1.jpg rack_card_family_2.jpg

download

gun safety poster family.jpg

download

Digital Media Toolkit

Downloadable Image Files and Links to Videos:

Social Media Graphics

(LC JGSC set)

iotam risk factors.jpg

download

iotam_warning_signs.jpg

download

iotam_take_action.jpg

download

...more Social Media Graphics

(LC JGSC set)

iotam_survival.jpg

download

iotam_second_chance.jpg

download

iotam_speak_up.jpg

download

...more Social Media Graphics

(LC JGSC set)

iotam learn more.jpg

download

social media-safe owner 1.png

download

 

social media-safe owner 2.png

download

...more Social Media Graphics

(COAG set)

 

1 safe gun storage facebook and twitter.png

download

2 safe gun storage facebook and twitter

download

3 safe gun storage facebook and twitter

download

...more Social Media Graphics

(COAG set)

1 safe gun storage instagram

download

2 safe gun storage instagram

download

3 safe gun storage instagram

download

Public Service Announcement Videos

Link to May 2021 Larimer County Juvenile Gun Safety Coalition PSA Full Video "It Only Takes a Moment":

https://youtu.be/vsg7SKHRiLM

Link to May 2021 Larimer County Juvenile Gun Safety Coalition PSA Vignettes (5 short clips) "It Only Takes a Moment":

https://youtube.com/playlist?list=PLuDpnzBVtpZ1YVFCCFS6Eos_UV0Vb0dkT

 

...more PSA Videos

Link to July 2019 Larimer County Juvenile Gun Safety Coalition PSA:  

https://youtu.be/zqsVQOnxSDw

Link to February 2021 Colorado Attorney General PSA 1 "Bring them inside":  

https://youtu.be/TuGRPXDQikg

Link to February 2021 Colorado Attorney General PSA 2 "Store firearms securely":  

https://youtu.be/OQqbSBLZPbs

 
*To request printed rack cards and posters, go to our Printed Resources tab.  To request gun locks, go to our Free Gun Locks tab.

Toolkits Created by Other Agencies

2020 Statistics

(2020 Statistics are currently being processed and will be posted soon)


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

3,193

 
 
Loveland

899

 
 
Larimer County (Including Berthoud and Wellington)

432

CSU

38

 
Estes Park

22

 
Timnath

11

 

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

Fort Collins

280

 
Larimer County (Including Berthoud and Wellington)

193

 
Loveland

137

 
Estes Park

2

 
Timnath

1

 

 

Contact Us

If you have a question or need help with your efforts in promoting gun safety, feel free to contact the Larimer County Juvenile Gun Safety Coalition via email.