Taking initial steps to build a comprehensive community-based approach to preventing firearm death and injury in Colorado. 

To build a healthy Colorado where current and future generations can thrive, we must protect the places where we live, learn, work, and play. For too long, firearm-related death and injury has threatened and harmed the places where our health begins.

New Report Out Now:

Colorado’s Public Health Roundtable on Firearm-Related Violence Prevention

In June 2023, Trailhead Institute and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment’s Office of Gun Violence Prevention hosted the Public Health Roundtable on Firearm-Related Violence Prevention. Over the course of two days, 98 experts from across the state gathered to take an initial step towards building an effective community-based approach to firearm violence prevention in Colorado.

The ensuing report produced by Trailhead Institute and Wellstone Collaborative Strategies, with analysis support from Colorado Health Institute and review from roundtable participants, provides a detailed summary of the discussions that occurred across the two-day convening and is intended to be a starting point for ongoing discussions with those impacted by firearm violence and with those who were not present at the event.

Download the Roundtable Report

How to Read the Report

The report is intended to support the work of community leaders, researchers, public health professionals, healthcare providers, funders, and all those working to prevent firearm-related death and injury in identifying opportunities for action and implementing necessary change across Colorado communities.

The report presents a comprehensive understanding of how firearm-related death and injury impacts people living in Colorado, and introduces a population level approach informed by a statewide, cross-sector collaborative of experts to address the factors that contribute to and protect communities from firearm violence.

The report focuses on four main types of firearm-related violence:

Suicide is death caused by injuring oneself with the intent to die. In 2021, 70% of all firearm-related deaths were suicide deaths.

Community firearm-related violence is a broad category, which includes gang-related violence, violence conducted during another crime, and other homicides.

Domestic violence, or intimate partner violence, is a pattern of verbal, physical, emotional, and/or sexual aggression or abuse in any relationship. This abuse is used by the abusing partner to gain or maintain power and control over the other partner.

Mass shootings, or targeted violence, include a wide range of high casualty events, such as hate crimes that target specific identities, domestic terrorism, school shootings, workplace shootings, and others.

For each type of violence, the report dives into the first three steps of a public health approach.

Within each type of violence, the report provides an overview of current data and data gaps which were identified by participants throughout the roundtable.

Across the violence types, the report provides a review of the identified risk factors and protective factors.

The report then provides a discussion of strategies by violence type following a root-to-recovery framework stepping through strategies related to Root Causes, Direct Prevention, Intervention, Preparedness and Response, and Recovery and Learning.

While the roundtable agenda focused on the first three steps of the public health approach, it is intended that the fourth step of ensuring widespread adoption of effective strategies will be brought forth through continued collaboration among partners following the roundtable.

A Roadmap for the Future

The long-term vision for this work is that each community that struggles with firearm-related violence has built the community-level partnerships necessary to implement a holistic public health approach to address the needs of the community. 

To assure that future action following the roundtable is guided by community input and engagement, all roundtable participants provided commitments and recommendations for how this work ought to move forward based on their lived experience, expertise, and shared learning during the convening. Download the report to learn more about near term solutions and recommended next steps for carrying this work forward into community.

With Gratitude

The Roundtable convening is the collective action of many individuals and organizations who share a deep care for preventing firearm-related violence in Colorado. Thank you to all members of the steering and planning committees who generously shared their time, expertise, and valuable perspectives with the Office of Gun Violence Prevention and Trailhead Institute as partners in planning the Roundtable. We are also deeply grateful to The Colorado Health Foundation, The Colorado Trust, Rose Community Foundation and Caring for Colorado for sponsoring the convening.