This bill honors Keke and her legacy and makes Delaware the first state in the nation to repeal a gun industry special protection law
Washington, D.C, June 28, 2022 - Today, Brady celebrates the passage of Delaware SB 302, the Keshall “KeKe” Anderson Safe Firearm Sales Act, which makes Delaware the first state in the nation to repeal a law that gives firearm dealers immunity from liability for injury caused by their actions. This bill honors KeKe Anderson, who was killed in 2016 as an innocent bystander in a shooting involving a gun sold in an illegal straw purchase. KeKe’s family sued the gun dealer who negligently sold the firearm used in her death only to have the Delaware Supreme Court find the dealer immune from liability under existing Delaware law. The KeKe Anderson Safe Firearm Sales Act repeals the law that ended that suit and prevented justice for her family, a moment of full circle justice.
Kisha Bailey, KeKe Anderson’s mother, shared:
“I wanted to find justice for my daughter by suing the store that negligently sold the weapon used to murder my daughter, but Delaware’s law barred me from finding accountability and closure through the courts. Gun violence is a crisis in our state and the gun industry should not be shielded from the law for its actions that contribute to this violence. Since KeKe was shot, over 400 people have died from gun violence in Delaware, with over 200 people injured by gun violence in 2021 alone. This vote is a light for those families who, like me, will never find justice for our loved ones but can now move forward to find accountability and create change.”
Brady State Policy Manager Camden Weber shared:
“This bill makes history, righting a wrong that has stopped victims and survivors of gun violence from having their day in court and holding the gun industry accountable for its role in the violence that kills 111 people in Delaware every year. Delaware again claims the honor of becoming the first state in the nation, leading the way by becoming the first state to repeal an immunity law that has stopped justice and shielded the gun industry from accountability. That this bill honors KeKe Anderson, who was tragically murdered and whose family’s lawsuit was stopped by Delaware’s liability shield law, is a fitting reminder of the damage this law has done and the need to take every action to stop gun violence.”
Brady Senior Counsel Erin Davis shared:
“KeKe Anderson was taken from her family and this world far too young. Her family was denied access to justice in the courts, that they could not hold the dealer who sold the gun that took her life accountable for its negligent conduct because of Delaware’s liability shield law is an insult to the concept of justice and a tragedy. This bill rights that wrong. The gun industry should not enjoy special protections, afforded to no other industry, that de-incentivizes them from adopting the strongest safety standards and practices to prevent gun violence. It is too late to save KeKe’s life or to bring her justice, but it is right that this bill that bears her name and honors her legacy, means that other victims or families will be able to pursue accountability in the future.”
About SB 302, the Keshall “KeKe” Anderson Safe Firearm Sales Act
Delaware SB 302, the Keshall “KeKe” Anderson Safe Firearm Sales Act, is named for KeKe Anderson who was killed in 2016 in a shooting involving a gun sold through a straw purchase. Brady represented KeKe’s family in a subsequent lawsuit against the dealer of the firearm involved in her death, but the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed a decision by the Superior Court that granted firearms dealers full immunity from liability based upon a Delaware state law, even if the dealer is negligent in selling a firearm to a straw purchaser. SB 302 repeals the law that ended this lawsuit and stopped KeKe’s family from receiving justice in her name. This bill creates a path for gun industry members, to be treated like every other industry, to be held accountable for dangerous, unlawful, negligent and unsafe business practices that impact Delaware residents and removes barriers that currently prevent victims and survivors–like KeKe and her family–from obtaining justice in the courtroom. It likewise creates a predicate exception to the federal Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) that has prevented similar suits from moving forward across the nation. The passage of this bill makes Delaware the first state in the country to repeal a gun industry liability shield law, making history and setting an example for the 34 other states in the country with similar state laws that are stopping victims and their families from holding the firearm industry accountable for their role and denying gun violence victims the protections of the civil justice system.
Brady has one powerful mission — to unite all Americans against gun violence. We work across Congress, the courts, and our communities with over 90 grassroots chapters, bringing together young and old, red and blue, and every shade of color to find common ground in common sense. In the spirit of our namesakes Jim and Sarah Brady, we have fought for over 45 years to take action, not sides, and we will not stop until this epidemic ends. It’s in our hands.