Isabella Joy Thallas Act goes into effect

Isabella Joy Thallas

DENVER — SB21-078, legislation sponsored by Representatives Tom Sullivan and Leslie Herod to promote responsible gun ownership, went into effect on Monday. The new law aims to prevent firearms from getting into the wrong hands by requiring gun owners to report to law enforcement within five days of realizing their firearms have been lost or stolen.

“Last session, we took historic action to prevent gun violence in Colorado, passing six commonsense laws that will help save lives,” said Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial. “The law going into effect today is an educational tool that will help keep firearms out of the wrong hands by setting an expectation for gun owners to report when their firearms are lost or have been stolen. No law will prevent every gun death, but we’ve seen that well-crafted policies--like Colorado’s Extreme Risk Protection Order law--save lives, and the Isabella Joy Thallas Act will, as well.”

“Lost and stolen firearms are found at crime scenes across the country every day, and data shows that tens of thousands of firearms have been stolen in Colorado in recent years,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “Unreported lost or stolen firearms make our communities less safe, and it doesn’t have to be that way. Timely reporting of lost or stolen firearms saves lives, helps prevent crime, and it’s the simple and responsible thing to do if you realize your firearm is missing.”

SB21-078 requires an individual who owns a firearm and has reasonable cause to believe that the firearm has been lost or stolen to report that firearm to a law enforcement agency within five days after discovering that the firearm is missing.

A first offense for failure to make such a report is a civil infraction punishable by a $25 fine, and a second or subsequent offense is a misdemeanor punishable by a maximum $500 fine. The bill requires a law enforcement agency that receives a report to enter information about the lost or stolen firearm into the National Crime Information Center database and report the information to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

Through an amendment, SB21-078 was renamed the ‘Isabella Joy Thallas Act’, in honor of the young woman who was murdered on June 10, 2020 while she and her boyfriend were walking their dog outside of their apartment in Denver’s Ballpark neighborhood. The high-powered semi-automatic rifle used in the killing was stolen.

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