DENVER (KDVR) — When gun owners leave their weapons unsecured, whether at home or in a vehicle, they can end up in the wrong hands.

Consider that nearly 1,000 guns were stolen from Denver homes and vehicles in a recent 18-month period, or that about half of all suicide deaths are by firearm. Experts say these are two issues that can be alleviated by locking up your guns, which can also help keep them out of the hands of young people.

The Denver Police Department is stressing this message at a weekend event focused on educating the public about safe firearm storage.

“Gun-owning residents are encouraged to come to the event, where they will receive a free gun lock, safety tips and other resources to make Denver safer for our youth and all residents,” DPD said in a news release.

The gun lock giveaway will be on Saturday at several recreation centers around the city. The events will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at these locations:

  • Barnum Rec Center: 360 N. Hooker St.
  • La Alma Rec Center: 1325 W. 11th Ave.
  • Hiawatha Davis Rec Center: 3334 N. Holly St.
  • Montbello Rec Center: 15555 E. 53rd Ave.
  • Montclair Recreation Center, N. 729 Ulster Way

Denver Police Chief Ron Thomas and violence prevention advocates will also stress the importance of safe firearm storage at an event at 10 a.m. Friday at the La Alma Rec Center.

Gun owners are encouraged to make sure the keys or combination to their gun locks or safe are secure. If it’s not possible to safely store a gun in the home, some facilities in Colorado offer temporary gun storage services.