The Isabella Joy Thallas Act, which requires gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement within five days of realizing its missing, goes into effect in Colorado on Tuesday.
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis signed the bill in April. Earlier that month, the Colorado House on Monday passed the Lost or Stolen Firearms bill (SB21-078), which was renamed via an amendment to its current name of the Isabella Joy Thallas Act.
In June 2020, Thallas was shot and killed in Denver allegedly by a 36-year-old man who had taken a firearm from a Denver police officer he knew. He yelled at Thallas and her boyfriend about their dog defecating on the ground near an apartment complex before opening fire on them, according to a probable cause statement for his arrest. The suspect pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity in March.
The new law requires a person who owns a firearm and believes it's lost or has been stolen to report such to a law enforcement agency within five days of the discovery. The first offense for failure to do so is a $25 fine and the second and any subsequent offense is a misdemeanor with a fine up to $500.
Law officials who receive one of these reports must then enter the information into the National Crime Information Center database and report the information to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.
On the day it was signed into law, Thallas' mother, Ana Thallas, was in attendance.
“After I reviewed the bill, it made sense to me. Common sense,” she said. “Unfortunately, as we all know, common sense is not always so common. So, I fight — not just for Isabella, but I fight for the other people in Colorado because it’s not just about her. It’s about (her son) Jacob, when he goes to school and his school might be next. The grocery stores, the malls — the gun violence is out of control. Somebody has to do something. But what saddens me and hurts the most is that it takes a mother of a murdered daughter to stand up and speak and try and make a change and a difference in this state.”
This legislation was sponsored by Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial, and Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver.
“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,” Herod said. “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.”