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More Coloradans leaving guns in cars where they can be stolen, and more youth are dying

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    Denver, CO (KCNC) — Violence is on the rise in Denver, as data shows gun homicides have increased dramatically compared to this time last year. Now, the Denver Police Department is pushing a new campaign urging gun owners to properly and safely store firearms.

“It’s very concerning, particularly the impacts on the youth violence,” explained Denver Police Chief Paul Pazen. “Young people shouldn’t be getting access to guns. They can’t go to a gun store and purchase weapons, but unfortunately they are getting their hands on guns and we’re seeing some tragic outcomes as a result.”

In a span of just five days in Denver, five young people were killed as a result of gun violence. It’s something young activist organization 10for10 is working to change.

“There’s been a lot of violence happening in our community,” explained Peter Lubembela, the President of 10for10. “There’s just a common goal and everybody is united under the idea like what are we going to do to save our kids?”

In response in the rise of violent crime, the Denver Police Department is launching a new video campaign promoting safe firearm storage because, as they say, many of the guns in recent incidents were stolen. DPD statistics show that from Jan. 1 through June 30, more than 300 guns were reported stolen in Denver, primarily from vehicles. That’s a 26.7% increase in gun thefts compared to the three-year average.

“We ask gun owners to be responsible owners and to truly lock up their guns at home, to remove guns from cars when they park them, and make sure that these weapons, these guns that are ending up in the hands of young people, are properly secured,” Pazen explained. “We as a community need to do a better job of helping keep young people and others safe in Denver.”

Lubembela said he agrees that safely storing firearms should be a priority in the community to help protect the lives of others.

“I support any campaign like that,” he said. “It starts off with people who have guns, making sure their guns are safe in their home or in the car, so they don’t fall into the wrong hands.”

The PSA videos will be posted on the DPD Facebook and Twitter pages.

10for10 will be hosting a march for young people on Friday, starting at Montbello High School at 5:30 p.m. to honor the young lives recently lost to gun violence.

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Article Topic Follows: Regional News

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