U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- U.S. LawShield, industry leader and America’s largest provider of Legal Defense for Self-Defense coverage, offers protection, legal advocacy, and education for members in Colorado as Senate Bill 21-078, went into effect yesterday. The new law requires gun owners to report lost or stolen firearms within five days of becoming aware the firearm was missing or face a penalty.
“Criminals steal guns from law-abiding gun owners every day, and we know those guns are often used to commit crimes,” said P.J. Hermosa, CEO of U.S. LawShield. “As the new legislation, known as the Isabella Joy Thallas Act, becomes law this week, it puts Coloradans at risk of becoming criminals themselves if they fail to report a theft or loss of a firearm to law enforcement within the set time. U.S. LawShield supports Colorado members by providing education on safe firearms storage and the added protection of our comprehensive Gunowner Identity Theft program.”
The Gunowner Identity Theft program protects firearm owners from the potential legal fallout of stolen or lost guns. “When folks experience the loss or theft of their firearms, they need an advocate in their corner,” said Hermosa. “Our proactive approach invites folks to learn best practices for safe firearms storage directly from our Independent Program Attorneys practicing in the State of Colorado. People learn about the options they can utilize today that may prevent a potential lost or stolen gun from coming back to haunt them in the future,” Hermosa said. “Then, members can rest assured that should their gun be lost or stolen and later used in a crime, that an Independent Program Attorney will defend them in a criminal or civil action.”
U.S. LawShield Education in Colorado
Led by a local U.S. LawShield Independent Program Attorney, these sessions educate attendees on the ins and outs of SB21-078 and how it affects their rights and freedoms. “Plus, discover how to protect yourself from the nightmare of a lost or stolen gun with extended coverage options from U.S. LawShield membership,” said Hermosa. Dedicated question-and-answer sessions with the Independent Program Attorneys will follow every informational segment to ensure attendees get the answers they need from a reliable legal source. Visit uslawshield.com/seminar to register.
- Centennial: Centennial Gun Club
- Thursday, September 9, 6 PM to 8 PM
- Saturday, September 11, 10 AM to 12 PM
- Johnstown: Liberty Firearms Institute
- Thursday, September 9, 6 PM to 8 PM
- Lakewood: Bristlecone Shooting, Training, & Retail Center
- Saturday, September 11, 2 PM to 4 PM
Independent Program Attorney Observations and Recommendations
A duty of $25 is imposed on any firearm owner who reasonably believes their firearm has been lost or stolen and fails to report to law enforcement within five days of the discovery. “It’s important to know that the five-day time limit begins when the owner believes his or her gun was lost or stolen,” according to U.S. LawShield Independent Program Attorney Drew Eddy. “That may or may not be the same date as the actual loss or theft.”
If a gun owner does not inform law enforcement about their firearm being lost or stolen within five days of learning it is missing, that person would be guilty of a petty offense. If the person failed to report a firearm loss or theft more than once, the offense becomes an unclassified misdemeanor and may include a fine of up to $500.
The responding law enforcement agency is required to include in their report an accurate and detailed description of the firearm, including (if known) the manufacturer, model, serial number, caliber, and any other identification number or distinguishing mark on the firearm. “As a result, it is now more crucial than ever for firearm owners to preserve identifying information about their firearm in a place separate from where they store the firearm itself. For example, keep the details of each firearm you own in your smartphone, on your computer, or someplace you can locate it easily,” Eddy added.
The new law provides that a person who is not the owner of the lost or stolen firearm but is a member of the owner’s family, or resides with the owner, may, but is not required, to report the loss or theft. For further details, visit U.S. LawShield at uslawshield.com/colorados-lost-or-stolen-firearms-act/.
Upon receiving a lost or stolen firearm report, law enforcement enters the descriptive information into the Colorado Bureau of Investigation Crime Information Center database. The person who reported the lost or stolen firearm will then be immune from criminal prosecution for failing to report a lost or stolen firearm as such.
About Gunowner Identity Theft
Gunowner Identity Theft is an add-on to the popular Legal Defense for Self-Defense program and costs an additional $83.40 annually or $6.95 monthly.
“When a firearm is stolen or lost, it can be a very unsettling experience,” said Hermosa. Filing a report to document that the firearm is no longer in the owner’s possession is now required by law. “Don’t deal with the fallout on your own. Get the help you need from U.S. LawShield’s Gunowner Identity Theft coverage, and if your gun or your identity are ever stolen, you won’t be risking your right to carry,” he stated.
Hermosa suggests, “If your gun isn’t locked up or secured, it should be within your control—typically holstered and on your person. Always use proper safety measures to store your guns, and be sure to follow your local laws. If you’re unfamiliar with local laws, find out. Claiming ignorance of the law is not a valid legal defense, and many areas of the country have specific nuances to the laws you’ll learn only by doing your own research.”
About U.S. LawShield
Since 2009, the mission of U.S. LawShield remains unchanged. We believe in Preserving Freedom for Good™ by educating our 700,000+ members and 6,000+ facility partners in self-defense law; empowering them to handle critical, life-threatening situations with confidence; protecting them from potential injustices in the legal system after acts of self-defense; and challenging the status quo regarding the affordability of legal defense. Our higher purpose is to create a united community of responsible individuals who believe in liberty and the inalienable right of self-defense.
For more information on U.S. LawShield and its legal defense for self-defense programs, visit the website at www.uslawshield.com.