About the Colorado Firearm Data Dashboard

How the Dashboard was developed

The Colorado Firearm Data Dashboard is a tool developed by the Colorado Office of Gun Violence Prevention at the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in collaboration with the Injury and Violence Prevention Center at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus. The dashboard provides an interactive feature to explore firearm-related data in Colorado.

The dashboard is designed to be accessible to a wide range of users, from researchers and policymakers to individuals interested in learning more about firearm injuries and deaths in Colorado and how to best prevent future injuries and deaths.

The data sources used to create the dashboard are described in detail below. They include information collected and provided by law enforcement agencies, emergency medical services, health care providers, and state agencies. This dashboard will be expanded to include additional data sources as they become available. This may include Emergency Medical Services (EMS), trauma registry, emergency department, hospitalization, enhanced Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) data, and additional years to track trends. 

Data sources


Colorado Violent Death Reporting System (CoVDRS)

The CoVDRS is part of the more extensive National Violent Death Reporting System (NVDRS), funded and maintained by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). The NVDRS is a public health surveillance system that collects detailed data on violent deaths nationwide. Colorado has participated in the NVDRS since 2004. In NVDRS, a violent death includes any death involving a firearm that includes all intents (suicide, homicide, unintentional deaths, legal intervention, and undetermined intents). Each death is identified using data from multiple sources, including death certificates, coroner and medical examiner reports - if available, and law enforcement investigations - if available. Data included in the dashboard are all firearm deaths, the intent of these deaths, county-level firearm deaths, and basic demographics and geography among firearm decedents. 

To learn more about NVDRS, visit the CDC website.


Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI) Instacheck Statistics

In Colorado, a Federal Firearms Licensure (FFL) must perform background checks to sell or transfer a firearm. The CBI reports information, including approvals and denials from these firearm sales by FFLs and private sales in Colorado. Immediate family members do not need background checks to transfer firearms between one another. 

To learn more about CBI data, visit the CBI website.


Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS)

The Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) is a federally funded random-digit-dial telephone survey of U.S. residents aged 18 and older. The survey collects information on various health behaviors, conditions, and preventative health practices. Health authorities use the information collected from BRFSS at various levels within private and public federal, state, and local sectors. These data help to identify public health concerns in the community and design policies and interventions to tackle those issues. In 2020, the Colorado BRFSS added questions on firearm ownership and storage. These results are used in the dashboard to help describe the prevalence of firearms in CO and how firearms are being stored. 

To learn more about BRFSS, visit the BRFSS website.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) WONDER System 

The CDC WONDER system includes data on national mortality and population statistics collected by state registries based on death certificates for U.S. residents. Causes of death in the CDC WONDER system are determined by the underlying cause of death ICD (International Classification of Diseases) codes and the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS). Data included in the dashboard from this source are age-adjusted rates and counts of overall firearm deaths, including suicides and homicides in Colorado and the United States. 

To learn more about CDC WONDER, visit the CDC WONDER website.


Gun Violence Archive (GVA) 

The Gun Violence Archive (GVA) is an independent data collection and research group that produces publicly available information on gun violence incidents collected from law enforcement, media, government, and commercial sources data about the results of gun violence. The GVA defines mass shootings as an incident where a minimum of four victims are shot (either injured or killed), not including a shooter who may have been killed or injured. GVA data have been included here because the records have been compared with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)-reported firearm deaths, demonstrating they are a reliable source of assault-related firearm deaths.1 Data included in the dashboard are the number of mass shooting incidents in Colorado and the number of deaths and injuries resulting from these incidents. 

To learn more about GVA, visit the GVA website.

Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) Data 

Researchers at the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus compile court records annually for ERPO petitions filed in Colorado. Data elements are abstracted by trained staff using a standardized guide. Data included in the dashboard are county-level ERPO use, reasons petitions were filed, the proportion of petitions approved or denied/dismissed, reasons for denials, and basic demographics among those with petitions filed against them. 

To learn more about ERPOs visit the Extreme risk protection orders web page.

For more information about data definitions, functionality, sources, or requests, please email ogvp.resourcebank@cuanschutz.edu