Denver school board to parents: It’s important to store guns safely at home

Parents and guardians of Denver public schoolchildren will soon get a message from the school district: If you have firearms in your home, it’s important to store them safely.

The Denver school board on Thursday passed a resolution in support of safe gun storage. It directs the superintendent to “create a communication,” in both English and Spanish, about the importance of protecting minors “from accessing irresponsibly stored guns.”

Board members called it “a first step” in preventing gun violence. Several board and community members who spoke in favor of the resolution also referenced Colorado’s youth suicide rate, which saw the biggest increase in the country from 2016 to 2019.

The resolution says research shows secure firearm storage is associated with large reductions in the risk of self-inflicted and unintentional firearm injuries among children.

Board members also spoke about recent youth gun violence in northeast Denver, which has claimed the lives of several Denver Public Schools students.

The resolution was championed by board member Tay Anderson, who was also behind a resolution passed Thursday to mandate all-gender restrooms in Denver schools.

The board approved it unanimously. Member Angela Cobián recalled how two years ago, she got a call that a young student in the neighborhood she represents had accidentally fatally shot himself. President Carrie Olson, a former Denver teacher, said she was voting yes in memory of the first student she lost to gun violence, a young man killed on Cinco de Mayo in 1997.

Read the full gun safety resolution here.