Northglenn pushes for gun safety, education

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Northglenn officials are moving forward with a resolution that would create a rebate program for resident gun owners wanting to purchase safes or locks and promote city-sponsored gun safety classes and resources.

The proposed resolution, which City Council discussed during its April 1 study session, would create a rebate program for residents that would partially subsidize the capped cost of a gun safe or gun lock.

Council, however, decided against creating a city ordinance that would make the use of these safety measures mandatory.

“I think you are very progressive and out front in this one,” Northglenn Police Department Chief Jim May said to council members. “If you guys decide to do that, it just promotes that you guys want people to be responsible for their gun ownership and take that extra step to make sure it doesn’t get in the hands of criminals during burglaries and kids, their friends who visit, or kids who aren’t familiar with guns.”

Under a current city-run gun safety program, May said the Northglenn Police Department regularly orders and distributes free Project ChildSafe cable gun locks and brochures to residents.

These cable locks — provided by the National Shooting Sports Foundation and U.S. Department of Justice-backed gun safety program — blocks the chamber of a gun to prevent a cartridge from being fired.

Mayor Pro Tem Susan Clyne said she was in favor of creating a rebate program but said the city should only pay an allotted percentage of a redeemed gun safe or gun lock purchase.

“I’m willing to spend whatever it takes, but I would like to put a cap on the dollar amount of the safe,” Clyne said. “I don’t want someone to pay $50,000 to outfit a whole arsenal in their house.”

Mayor Joyce Downing and Ward 1 City Councilmembers Wayne and Carol Dodge agreed.

“It’s not controlling whether or not residents should have guns, because I don’t want to be involved in that, but as far as safety is concerned, I think the city should take a stand on that,” Carol Dodge said.

Ward 2 City Councilmember Joe Brown said the city should take a stance but questioned whether the city should be offering a rebate.

“Unfortunately, the only way that you find out about someone who does not have their firearm secure is after something bad has already happened,” Brown said. “I’m all in favor of setting the rule that they have to be stored properly, but I don’t think we should offer rebates because you should be storing it properly anyway.”

Some officials, however, spoke out against creating an ordinance that would also make the use of gun locks and gun safes mandatory for all resident gun owners.

“I’m not in favor of an ordinance but rather see an educational or rebate thing, because it is about safety,” May said. “When we have that situation where someone accidentally discharges a firearm and is injured, there are already a lot of charges that we can pursue — we don’t need to keep stacking a municipal one on top of that.”