top of page

May 15, 2024

Gov Signs Legislation to Reduce Gun Thefts from Vehicles

Legislation will promote responsible gun ownership, safe storage of firearms in vehicles

CENTENNIAL, CO - Governor Polis today signed legislation into law to help prevent firearms from being stolen from vehicles by requiring them to be secured while unattended in a vehicle.

“As a Western Slope legislator, I know how important responsible and safe gun ownership is for our rural communities and our way of life," said Rep. Elizabeth Velasco, D-Glenwood Springs. "This commonsense law helps reduce gun thefts from vehicles while respecting the 2nd Amendment rights of gun owners across the state.”  

“Safe storage of firearms in vehicles or at home is an effective way to keep guns out of the hands of the wrong people and create safer communities,” said Senator Sonya Jaquez Lewis, D-Longmont. “Last year, there were 1,221 guns reported stolen in Denver. This law represents one of this year’s many efforts to reduce gun violence in Colorado and I’m proud to see it signed today.”

“When someone steals a firearm, they bypass the protections we’ve put in place that consider factors like mental health struggles and a history of domestic violence before they’re handed a gun," said Rep. Lorena Garcia, D-Unincorporated Adams County. "Gun thefts from vehicles are on the rise, putting our communities at risk of preventable gun crimes. By requiring guns to be securely stored in vehicles when they are unattended, this law will prevent gun owners from losing their weapons to prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands and keep our neighborhood kids safe.”

“We have seen alarming rates of firearms being stolen from vehicles in Colorado, including one instance here at the Capitol,” said Senator Rhonda Fields, D-Aurora. “It’s on gun owners to responsibly and safely store their firearms – whether that’s in their home or their vehicle. This important law promotes a commonsense gun safety practice that will help reduce theft and make our communities safer.”

HB24-1348 requires handguns in unattended vehicles to be stored in a locked, hard-sided container that is out of plain view to help prevent them from being stolen. Other firearms must be stored in a hard or soft-sided container. The law also requires the Office of Suicide Prevention to include information for vehicle safe storage on its website and include vehicle safe storage information that must be displayed at gun stores.

There are exclusions such as antique firearms, peace officers, military service members, and people engaged in hunting activities. Recreational vehicles and non-handgun firearms in a vehicle on a person’s private farm or ranch are also exempt.

According to the Denver Police Department, 846 of the 1,221 guns that were reported as being stolen were stolen from vehicles in 2023. Of those stolen firearms, 61% were stolen without stealing the vehicle itself. Data from 2020 found that Grand Junction, Pueblo, and Colorado Springs had the highest rates of gun thefts from cars in Colorado.

Colorado Democrats passed a 2021 law that promotes responsible gun ownership by requiring gun owners to properly store their firearms when they are not in use, especially when children are present. The law also requires licensed firearms dealers to provide a locking device at the time of sale or transfer of all firearms. Federal law already requires that handguns sold by licensed dealers be sold with locking devices. Finally, the 2021 law created the charge “unlawful storage of a firearm” when a firearm is not stored safely and a juvenile or someone who is ineligible to possess a firearm is present, making it a class 2 misdemeanor.

bottom of page