Community
10:07 am
Thu March 13, 2014

Lawsuit Tests Missouri Gun Shop’s Liability In Pistol Sale To Mentally Ill Woman

Colby Sue Weathers bought a gun similar to the one pictured after her mother called the seller and asked them not to sell firearms to her mentally ill daughter.
Credit Wikimedia -- Creative Commons

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is suing on behalf of Janet Delana from Wellington, Mo., who is the mother of a mentally ill woman who used a gun to murder her father.

According to the complaint, Delana called Odessa Gun and Pawn in Odessa, Mo., in June 2012 to ask that the shop not sell her mentally ill daughter, Colby Sue Weathers, another gun. But two days later, Weathers allegedly bought a semi-automatic .45 caliber handgun from the shop, and used it to murder her father. John Lowy, Director of the Legal Action Project at the Brady Center, says his group has filed similar lawsuits in other states.

“The court can award damages that will take the profit out of supplying dangerous people with guns, and will send a message to gun dealers across the country, that if they supply dangerous people with guns, they can expect to be held accountable for the bad outcomes that result,” says Lowy.

Lowy stresses that the action is not meant to impede gun rights.

“This case is not anti-gun, it’s not anti-second amendment.” Says Lowy. “In fact Janet Delana is a gun owner, and Tex Delana, was a gun owner. The case is about responsibility and accountability, and that’s something gun owners and non-gun owners can agree on."

Lowy says gun store owners have a legally-established duty to use special care in deciding with whom to do business with.