Friday, April 28, 2023
CONTACT: Sara Loflin, Executive Director at [email protected] or Kayla Frawley, Legislative Director at [email protected]

DENVER: ProgressNow Colorado Executive Director Sara Lu Loflin released the following statement regarding Senate Bill 23-168, The Jessi Redfield Ghawi Act for Gun Violence Victims’ Access to Justice and Firearms Industry Accountability, being signed into law by Governor Polis:

“Colorado has seen far too many mass shootings. Colorado’s gun industry immunity laws, passed more than 20 years ago as a right-wing backlash after the Columbine High School mass shooting, meant survivor families could not seek justice in Colorado civil courtrooms. That’s just wrong, and today Jessi’s Law rights that wrong.

This law has been a long time coming, and it represents overdue justice for thousands of Colorado gun violence survivor families like Lonnie and Sandy Phillips, who lost their daughter Jessi in the Aurora Theater massacre in 2012 and for whom this bill is named. We honor her, and them, today.

Colorado’s laws protected the gun industry over the people on which it inflicts death, injury, and lifelong psychological trauma. This law helps hold the gun industry accountable by revoking civil liability immunity for the harm that it causes, and helps ensure gun violence survivor families get their day in court. It holds the gun industry’s products liable for the standards of any other business. And it revokes Colorado’s traumatizing, unjust penalties for those who do seek legal redress against the gun industry, which previously forced them to pay the corporation’s legal bills by default.

We cannot bring back their loved ones for gun violence for survivor families. But the least we can do is bring back some sense of justice in Colorado’s legal system with Jessi’s Law.”