Delana v. Odessa Gun & Pawn | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

Delana v. Odessa Gun & Pawn

Background

Colby Sue Weathers of Wellington, Missouri suffered from paranoid schizophrenia and depression throughout her adult life. In May 2012, she purchased a handgun from Odessa Gun & Pawn in Odessa, Missouri. Fearing she was at risk of committing suicide, her family took away the weapon. Three weeks later, knowing that Colby was about to receive a check, her mother Janet Delana called Odessa Gun & Pawn, provided her daughter’s information and explained that she was dangerously mentally ill, and begged them not to sell Colby another gun should she try to purchase one."

On June 27, 2012, two days after her mother’s phone call, Colby returned to Odessa Gun & Pawn and was sold a .45 caliber Hi-Point semiautomatic pistol. She returned to her family home, and an hour later, she shot and killed her father, Tex C. Delana. 

Lawsuit

The Brady Center filed suit against Odessa Gun & Pawn for Janet Delana on March 12, 2014. The complaint alleges that the dealer knew or should have known, based on Janet’s phone call two days earlier, that Colby Sue Weathers was a danger to herself and others, but that the store ignored this clear warning and negligently sold her the gun. The suit argues that Odessa breached the duty shared by all gun dealers to use reasonable care in selling firearms to prevent access to guns for people who are foreseeably dangerous.

After the trial court partially granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, Brady Center attorneys briefed and argued an  appeal to the Supreme Court of Missouri. In April 2016, the Supreme Court decided the negligent entrustment claim in Janet Delana’s favor. This decision set important precedent, holding that negligent gun dealers across the state can be held accountable to victims of their negligence, and that negligent entrustment applies to gun sellers. 
 
 
Co-counsel for the Delana family with the Brady Center are Annette Griggs and David McCollum of McCollum & Griggs of North Kansas City, MO.
 
 
Read the press release announcing the Missouri Supreme Court Victory: Victory in Brady Case Against Missouri Gun Dealer for Sale to Mentally Ill Woman Who Killed Father.