Mom files suit against gun dealer over sale to mentally ill daughter

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ODESSA, Mo. -- The mother of Colby Weathers says she specifically told Odessa Gun and Pawn not to sell her daughter, who she says is mentally ill, a gun. She says they did and now her husband is dead.

"She was hospitalized several times, she's had several suicide attempts," said Janet Delana, the mother of Colby Weathers, who said her daughter has been diagnosed as a paranoid schizophrenic.

The Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence is filing a lawsuit on behalf of Delana against Odessa Gun and Pawn claiming the store sold her daughter a gun back in June of 2012.

"Janet alleges that her beloved husband, Tex, was killed because of the negligence of Odessa," said Jonathan Lowy, the Director of the Legal Action Project for The Brady Campaign.

Delana said about a month before the tragedy, Weathers bought gun at Odessa Gun and Pawn. When she and Tex found out about it, they took it away.

"I just thought that maybe I'll be proactive and I would call the gun store just in case she tried to do it again," she added.

Delana said she provided the gun dealer with a background on her daughter's mental condition and her history of hospitalization. She said she gave the store her daughter's name, date of birth, and social security number.

"She bought a gun before, please, please, I'm begging you as her mother, don't sell her a gun again," Delana said.

But they did, and Delana said as a result, her husband lost his life.

"Two days later, and within an hour of that sale, Colby used that gun to kill her father," said Lowy.

"This isn't about a person's right to not own a gun or to own a gun. I own a gun myself, I have several family members who own guns, it's about responsibility," said Delana.

The Brady Center said Delana's daughter is currently in a mental institution and faces trial in April. Its lawyer refused to get into details about whether she passed the required federal background check or if she had filled out the ATF forms properly.

FOX 4 reached out to Odessa Gun and Pawn, but they say they have not been served with the lawsuit and declined to comment.

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14 comments

  • DC

    Mom should be suing the laws that prevented them from getting help for their daughter. Or did the parents think they could deal with the daughter’s mental problems themselves?

    Ridiculous lawsuit.

  • GB, RN

    She’d been hospitalized multiple times for her problems, so attempts for help were made. The pawn shop put money over safety. Would this even be up for discussion had the daughter taken her gun to an elementary school and opened-fire there??

    This is a great lawsuit. Good luck!

  • FNK

    So every time someone calls and says to not sell a gun to someone they should listen? Every time someone walks through the door to buy a gun the shop is to supposed to call every agency in the books to make sure they have no hidden mental disabilities and absolutely no chance of wanting to kill someone? This is ridiculous. These families normally want the disabled to be treated just like everyone else, and the second they are and hurt someone they put the blame on the innocent. The mother had ample time throughout the daughter’s life to get her help so that should wouldn’t hurt others. I agree, who’s to say she wouldn’t have gone to Bed Bath & Beyond and bought a butcher knife and killed her father? Then what? The mother needs to take responsibility and stop blaming others. This world is so messed up.

  • Doris Casey

    I say after the mother giving them the info on her Daughter ,,they did wrong by selling her another Gun–talk about responsibility!!!! they are not-they should be asahmed of them selves ,all they think about is the money..what if they had a family member that was mentally unstable–would they be so quick to sell them a Gun???I think not!!!

    • jdberger

      So, were I to call your local grocery store and tell them not to sell you any groceries because you had been institutionalized, tried to commit suicide and might (might) use them to poison yourself or someone else, should the grocery store be obligated to turn you away?

      How about if I call your local voting booth and tell them that you’re a convicted felon and are about to vote illegally (or are already voting in a different district? Are they obligated to turn you away?

      • Joe

        You are compaing groceries to a gun. You are so stupid. Nobody usually dies buying groceries but guns are another matter. Did you ever pass out of grade school?

  • BM

    I highly doubt the mother called the store to warn them. She could have record of calling but who’s to say what she said? I think she’s making up information to go in her favor. And who goes to the media before the store? Talk about putting money first, that’s all she wants.

  • TJ

    This is just another money grab! Now another small business will put out because people have no personal responsibility any more. Umm… I called the liquor store and told them not to sell me beer but they did anyway so its there fault I got a DUI What joke our court system is!

  • wellnessclinician

    My sympathy to the family but unless the store did not meet the legal requirements for selling the gun, they did nothing “wrong”. If the mother believed the daughter was a threat she needed to take measures to get the daughter help (and I know this is easier said than done).