DENVER (CBS4) - Starting Sept. 7, gun owners will have new requirements when it comes to reporting lost or stolen firearms. The new law known as the Isabella "Joy" Thallas Act is named after a young woman who was killed in Denver with a stolen gun.
"Had that person not been able to get his hands on that gun in the first place," Ana Thallas said.
Had more been done she believes her daughter Isabella would still be here.
"The AK-47 that she was killed with didn't belong to the murderer," she said.
The 21-year-old was shot as she and her boyfriend walked their dog outside an apartment complex in the Ballpark neighborhood.
Thallas' father and boyfriend filed a lawsuit against a former detective in June of 2021.
The lawsuit filed claims former Sgt. Daniel Politica of the Denver Police Department failed to responsibly and securely store the AK-47 weapon used in the shooting. The department says the murder suspect, Michael Close, was a friend of the sergeant and took the firearm from the sergeant's home without his knowledge or permission.
"It is not the murderer that pays the life sentence, it's us, we do without her," Thallas said.
It's why she helped push for a major change in Colorado gun laws.
The Thallas Act, sponsored by Reps Tom Sullivan and Leslie Herod, requires that gun owners report to law enforcement within 5 days of realizing their firearms have been lost or stolen.
"I read it and I'm like 'What this isn't a thing yet? 'Um yes I will be there yesterday," she said.
While the work she's doing won't bring her daughter back, she believes the law can prevent another family from losing a loved one.
"If we could just impact one life, one situation, I've done something right through all of this," Thallas said.
In her daughter's case, the gun was a personal firearm of a Denver police sergeant. He failed to report the gun as stolen until after her daughter was killed.
"He got a retirement party, and my daughter got a funeral, how's that for lost or stolen?" Thallas said.
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.
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