The parents of Jessica Ghawi, a young woman murdered during the 2012 Aurora movie theater shooting, have filed a lawsuit against four internet companies, alleging that they "negligently and unlawfully" supplied ammunition, tear gas, and body armor to James Holmes, a "patently dangerous homicidal man."
"We're putting them on notice," Lonnie Phillips, Ghawi's father, said during a press conference. "We're coming after you."
The lawsuit was filed by Arnold & Porter LLP's Denver office, in conjunction with the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, The Denver Post reports. The companies — BulkAmmo.com, BulletProofBodyArmorHQ.com, sportsmanguide.com, and BTP Arms — "did not make reasonable inquiries into Holmes' purchases, nor did the defendants take any extra precautions when selling Holmes weapons, accessories, and ammunition, or ask Holmes why he wanted the items," the lawsuit says.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
"A company should not be able to sell tear gas with the same procedures used to sell a pair of shoes," said Kelly Sampson, an attorney for the Brady Center.
The Phillips say they are not challenging the rights of law-abiding gun owners, and the goal of the suit is to get the companies to stop their sales until screening practices are reevaluated and changed.
A Texas native, Ghawi, 24, was working at a Denver television station when she was killed along with 11 others during the rampage. More than 70 people were injured.
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.