The Colorado chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety, released the following statements today after the Colorado House and Senate advanced SB21-078, the “Isabella Joy Thallas Act,” which would require gun owners to report to law enforcement when a gun is lost or stolen. The bill was renamed the “Isabella Joy Thallas Act,” after a Denver woman who was murdered last summer with a stolen firearm that was never reported. The bill goes next to Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ desk.
“This bill will make Colorado a safer place,” said Abbey Winter, volunteer with Colorado Moms Demand Action. “Reporting lost and stolen guns to law enforcement will help prevent stolen guns from being used in crimes and prevent guns from getting into the wrong hands. We urge the governor to sign this common- sense legislation and help save lives.”
“Isabella Thallas was barely 21 when she was killed using a stolen gun,” said Hannah Sanders, a volunteer with Students Demand Action in Colorado. “The legislature took an important step to stop more lives from being cut short the same way Bella’s was, and we look forward to Governor Polis doing the same.”
SB21-078 would help save lives and prevent gun violence by requiring the reporting of lost and stolen firearms, which are often used in crimes or end up in the hands of those who mean to harm themselves or others. The legislature is also considering HB21-1106, which would require secure storage of firearms and would reduce the risk of gun violence, particularly among children.
What to know about lost and stolen firearms:
- Gun thefts occur in staggering numbers. Hundreds of thousands of guns are stolen every year, taken from houses, vehicles, and stores.
- Gun thefts often divert guns into an underground market where people with dangerous histories are easily able to obtain firearms without restriction. That is why stolen guns are often recovered at crime scenes, including at the scenes of homicides and other violent crimes. The majority of the 23,000 stolen firearms recovered by police between 2010 and 2016 were recovered in connection with crimes, including more than 1,500 violent acts.
- Research suggests that individuals who are prohibited from possessing guns may utilize the underground market to obtain guns, since they are unable to purchase them legally.
More information about secure storage legislation is here, and information about the risk of stolen guns here. Statistics about gun violence in Colorado are available here, and information on how Colorado’s gun laws compare to other states’ overall is available here.
To speak with a policy expert or Colorado Moms Demand Action and/or Students Demand Action volunteers, please do not hesitate to reach out.