House passes gun-reform focused ‘Isabella Joy Thallas Act’

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Isabella Thallas. Credit: Thallas family

DENVER (KDVR) — Colorado’s House of Representatives passed SB21-078 Monday morning in an effort to limit the number of crimes committed with stolen firearms.  

In June of 2020, Isabella Thallas, 21, and her boyfriend Darian Simon, 27, were walking their dog near Coors Field before they were shot, allegedly by Michael Close, 36, who was using a stolen weapon. Simon was transferred to a hospital where he has since recovered, but Thallas died at the scene.  

The weapon used by Close has been confirmed by FOX31 investigators as belonging to an unnamed Denver police officer. 

In response to this revelation, several state representatives, led by Rep. Tom Sullivan and Rep. Leslie Herod, have been pushing for legislation that would limit these types of crimes. Those advocates have come out ahead as SB21-078 passed into law with a 41-24 vote this morning.  

The ‘Isabella Joy Thallas Act,’ as SB21-078 is called, punishes any gun owners who do not report missing firearms to authorities within five days. After the reports are submitted by the gunowners, police then put that info into the National Crime Information Center database in addition to submitting a report to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.  

“I’m proud that we were able to honor her life with this small gesture,” said Rep. Leslie Herod, D-Denver. “And I’m incredibly grateful to Bella’s mother, Ana, and her family for their strength and testimony in the wake of an unspeakable tragedy.”

According to the bill, first offenses would result in a $25 fine, whereas a second violation would be deemed a misdemeanor coupled with a $500 fine.  

“By requiring that lost or stolen guns be reported in a timely way, this bill will give law enforcement the information they need to prevent crime and track down perpetrators when crimes are committed,” said Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial. 

A Harvard study utilizing FBI data estimates that over 30,000 guns were stolen between 2015 and 2019 in Colorado which is a small fraction of the 380,000 firearms thieved across the country during the same time frame.  

The ‘Isabella Act’ is a step toward countering this crime-dispensing gun issue and now her memory will aid authorities in preventing more people from being senselessly taken from the community in the blink of an eye, like she was less than a year ago.

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