Colorado Lawmakers Asked to Appeal Gun Law Statute

Anti-gun violence activists are asking Colorado lawmakers to appeal a state statute that gives immunity to the gun industry.

Colorado’s law offers even more protections to the industry than a federal law which prohibits lawsuits against gun dealers and manufacturers.

Critics of the state measure and the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, or PLCAA, say it denies justice to victims of gun violence. Sandy and Lonnie Phillips, parents of Jessica Ghawi, who was killed in the Aurora Theater shooting in 2012, will speak at Wednesday’s event, sharing their own experience of PLCAA.

The couple unsuccessfully sued Lucky Gunner, the online company that sold ammunition to the shooter.

Lonnie Phillips says they were found responsible for the gun company’s legal bill totaling $203,000, which forced them to file for bankruptcy.

“We’re kind of the poster child for that, what that law does to people that try to protect citizens from harm. And when they won, they felt like they were immune to any kind of prosecution. They continued to sell ammunition without checking people’s IDs.” 

Sandy Phillips says with Democrats in control of the House and the Senate in Colorado. The state has a chance to be a leader in gun control legislation.

The Phillips’ have written two books about gun violence and have spent the past decade speaking out about the impact on families and the community at large. Sandy Phillips says America is a traumatized nation.

“So what’s happening in America, and has been happening for the last 30, 40 years now, is just a continuum of trauma on top of trauma, on top of trauma. So we’re trying to bring that to light and that we cannot continue as a civilized society when we’re doing nothing but damaging one another and continuing the trauma experience in this country.”

State senator Tom Sullivan, who also lost a child, his son Alex, in the Aurora theater shooting, is another panelist at Wednesday’s event. Sullivan is part of the Gun Violence Prevention Caucus, formed at the state legislature in 2022. Other measures being proposed by the caucus include an effort to strengthen the state’s red flag law and raising the minimum age for purchasing certain firearms.

The event takes place this evening from 6:00-8:00 PM at the First Baptist Church of Denver, 1373 Grant St..

Former Congresswoman Gabby Giffords from Arizona was scheduled to attend but is unable to due to contracting COVID. 

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    Colorado Lawmakers Asked to Appeal Gun Law Statute Alyssa Palazzo

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    Colorado Lawmakers Asked to Appeal Gun Law Statute Alyssa Palazzo

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Alyssa Palazzo

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