If this is a life-threatening event or emergency, please call 911. 

If you or someone you know needs mental health, substance use or emotional crisis help:

  • Colorado Crisis and Support Line: Call 1-844-493-TALK (8255) or text "TALK" to 38255. 
  • 24/7 Suicide & Crisis Lifeline: Call or text 988.

Key points
  • Law enforcement agencies and firearm ranges and retailers are allowed, but not required, to offer voluntary firearm storage for the public. Policies vary, including cost and return requirements. 
  • About 75% of law enforcement agencies and half of firearm ranges and retailers offer storage
  • 1 in 4 (27%) adults living in homes with a firearm have stored a firearm away from their home, car, or garage within the last five years, according to a survey in Colorado and Washington.


Firearm owners may want to temporarily store firearms away from their homes for many reasons, including a long trip, military deployment, renting their home, or having visitors or family members who should not have firearm access in their homes. 

Storing firearms away from the home promotes lethal means safety, which involves making highly lethal methods of death, such as firearms, less accessible or less lethal in times of crisis. 

Temporary, voluntary out-of-home storage is different from having a court order to remove firearms because of the risk to oneself or others, which is referred to as an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO).  

Temporarily moving firearms out of the home, particularly when someone is at risk of suicide, can reduce the risk of death. A person in crisis – whether from mental illness, life circumstances, or substance use – may experience suicidal thoughts very quickly, sometimes in only minutes or hours. About a quarter of young people ages 15-34 attempt suicide in less than 5 minutes after making the decision to do so. If the person does not have access to a firearm in the moment of crisis, they are more likely to survive. This is because firearms are the most lethal method of suicide, with death occurring in about 90% of firearm suicide attempts.

But there is hope: most people in crisis, even those with suicidal thoughts, get better. Making sure they don’t have access to firearms while getting the help they need can be the difference between life and death.  

Moving firearms out of the home can also prevent theft, domestic violence, accidental injuries, and misuse by youth or unauthorized persons.


In Colorado 
  • In 2019, Colorado developed the first firearms out-of-home storage map, which lists firearm retailers, shooting ranges, and law enforcement agencies who have said they will consider requests for temporary firearm storage. 
  • Colorado state law (§18-12-405, C.R.S.) requires that all gun dealers provide a locking device with every firearm sold or transferred. Colorado Revised Statutes (C.R.S.) are posted on the Colorado Legal Resources Public Access Website.


Learn more about out-of-home storage

  1. Barnard LM, Johnson RL, Brandspigel S, et al. Voluntary, temporary out-of-home firearm storage: A survey of firearm retailers and ranges in two states. Preventative Med. 2022;165(Pt A):107220. doi:10.1016/j.ypmed.2022.107220 
  2. Barnard LM, Johnson RL, Brandspigel S, et al. Practices, knowledge, and concerns for out-of-home firearm storage among those with access to firearms: results from a survey in two states. Inj Epidemiol. 2023;10(1):15. Published 2023 Mar 13. doi:10.1186/s40621-023-00426-9
  3. Conner A, Azrael D, Miller M. Suicide Case-Fatality Rates in the United States, 2007 to 2014: A Nationwide Population-Based Study. Ann Intern Med. 2019 Dec 17;171(12):885-895. https://doi.org/10.7326/M19-1324  Epub 2019 Dec 3. PMID: 31791066.  
  4. Catherine W. Barber, Matthew J. Miller, Reducing a Suicidal Person’s Access to Lethal Means of Suicide: A Research Agenda, American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Volume 47, Issue 3, Supplement 2,2014, Pages S264-S272, ISSN 0749-3797,  
  5. Clarke R, Lester D. Suicide: closing the exits. New York, NY: Springer Verlag, 1989. 
  6. Deisenhammer EA, Ing CM, Strauss R, et al. The duration of the suicidal process: how much time is left for intervention between consideration and accomplishment of a suicide attempt? J Clin Psychiatry. 2009;70(1):19-24. 
  7. Everytown Research. (2021). About firearm suicide: Statistics. Everytown Research & Policy.  
  8. Simon OR, Swann AC, Powell KE, Potter LB, Kresnow MJ, O'Carroll PW. Characteristics of impulsive suicide attempts and attempters. Suicide Life Threat Behav. 2001;32(1 Suppl):49-59. doi:10.1521/suli.
  9. Runyan CW, Brooks-Russell A, Brandspigel S, et al. Law Enforcement and Gun Retailers as Partners for Safely Storing Guns to Prevent Suicide: A Study in 8 Mountain West States. Am J Public Health. 2017;107(11):1789-1794. doi:10.2105/AJPH.2017.304013
  10. Conner A, Azrael D, Miller M. Suicide Case-Fatality Rates in the United States, 2007 to 2014: A Nationwide Population-Based Study. Ann Intern Med. 2019;171(12):885-895. doi:10.7326/M19-1324