Rachel Renee Duncan senior graduation photo
Rachel Renee Duncan's senior portrait, provided by Gail Duncan

Rachel Renee Duncan was a kindhearted, talented 25-year-old. Close with her family and beloved by her friends, her death in March of 2018 devastated her loved ones and community. Her murder, at the hands of an ex-boyfriend, should have never happened. Rachel had filed for, and received, a personal protection order that prohibited the shooter from purchasing or possessing firearms.

And yet, two weeks later the shooter nevertheless gained access to a gun at a gun store/shooting range, where he rented a firearm and then simply walked out the front door with it. Within an hour of leaving the range, the shooter went to Rachel’s work, and killed her.

Since then, Rachel’s mother, Gail Duncan, has fought to raise awareness of domestic violence and gun violence. In 2020, Gail joined Brady Legal and co-counsel Sommers Schwartz, P.C., to file a first-of-its-kind wrongful death lawsuit against the range that allowed the shooter to leave with a gun. In doing so, Gail hoped to be a voice for her daughter — and to save other families from experiencing the same pain.

Hosts Kelly and JJ are joined by Gail, as well as Jonathan Lowy (Senior Counsel and VP of Brady Legal) and Erin Davis (Senior Counsel with Brady Legal) who worked on the case, to discuss what happened to Rachel, what loopholes exist within gun laws, and what it’s like to pursue legal relief after a shooting.

Mentioned in this podcast:
Michigan Mother Files Wrongful Death Lawsuit (Brady)
Beyond Bullet Wounds: Guns in the Hands of Domestic Abusers (Brady)
Police: Man stole gun from shooting range before killing ex-girlfriend (Lansing State Journal)
Firearms and domestic violence: the intersections (Office of Violence Against Women)


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