In 2013, Democrats in Colorado approved a package of gun control laws, including a ban on so-called large capacity magazines, universal background checks, and more. Since then the state has only gotten more restrictive when it comes to the right to keep and bear arms, but while the left is cracking down on legal gun owners, violent crime continues to climb. In fact, Denver is on pace to top last year’s homicide totals, which were already the highest in three decades.
Now Colorado’s newest gun control law is in effect; one that will supposedly cut down on the ability of thieves to steal firearms. In reality though, I don’t expect that criminals will notice the new law at all.
The Isabella Joy Thallas Act, a gun control measure requiring gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms to law enforcement within five days of realizing that they’re missing, goes into effect Tuesday.
SB21-078 was signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis in April, and through an amendment, the bill was renamed as the “Isabella Joy Thallas Act” in honor of the 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.
9Wants to Know confirmed earlier this year that an AK-47-style rifle belonging to former Denver police officer Sgt. Daniel Politica somehow ended up in the hands of the suspect accused of shooting and killing Thallas. Politica resigned from the Denver Police Department March 13.
Politica reported his rifle stolen when he discovered it was missing, but that wasn’t until nearly two weeks after the shooting took place. The former police officer is facing a civil suit filed by Thallas’ father and boyfriend, who both claim that Politica was negligent in not keeping his rifle locked up and secured in his home.
Thallas’ death is tragic, but the person responsible for her murder is the guy who allegedly stole Politica’s rifle and used it in the shooting. As for the new law that bears her name, I’m still not sure why supporters believe it will do anything at all to prevent future gun thefts.
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 (NCIC) database and report the information to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation (CBI).
Now, the vast majority of gun owners who discover that one or more of their guns has gone missing are going to inform police; not because of the prospect of a $25 fine but because they’ve been the victim of a crime. The Democrats who pushed bill through the statehouse in Colorado say that tens of thousands of guns have been stolen in Colorado in recent years, but to the best of my knowledge they’ve never said how many of those thefts were never reported to police.
This is another “soundbite solution” to Colorado’s crime problem; something that may sound good coming out of the mouths of lawmakers, but actually does little to no good at preventing crime or increasing public safety. Denver isn’t seeing a 30-year high in homicides because legal gun owners aren’t reporting burglaries or thefts to police. According to Denver police drugs, domestic violence, and gangs are sending crime rates soaring.
A review of police documents in cases with an arrest shows a wide array of alleged motives. Fights between couples that escalated to violence. A drive-by shooting allegedly committed with a baby in the backseat of the vehicle.
Denver police Cmdr. Matt Clark said 13 of the 39 homicide cases so far this year were linked to drugs, which is the same number of drug-related homicides recorded in all 2020. The cases include drug deals gone awry, planned robbery of drugs and disputes over narcotic use or purity, he said.
“We seeing these cases across all the hard narcotic drugs: methamphetamine, heroin, oxy, fentanyl,” he said.
Domestic violence, too, has spiked compared to last year. Eight people, including a 1-month-old baby, have been killed in domestic violence incidents so far this year, Pazen said. That’s already more than the five such homicides recorded in 2020.
Crime is a serious problem in Colorado, but once again the Democrats in charge of the state have offered up a decidedly unserious solution. How exactly would a lost or stolen gun law have prevented any of these homicides? I doubt that even the sponsors of the new law could offer an explanation that makes sense. No, this is just another attempt to pin the blame for violent crime on legal gun owners, and while that might make some Coloradans feel better, it won’t do a damn thing to make them any safer.