The mother of a woman who was killed two years ago with a stolen handgun from Total Firearms in Mason is suing the firing range for alleged negligence.
A lawsuit was filed this month in 30th Circuit Court that alleges Total Firearms, owners Robert and Christina Carl and four employees acted negligently in failing to prevent a convicted felon from renting and stealing a handgun used in a murder in March 2018 before he killed himself.
The estate of Rachel Renee Duncan, represented by her mother Gail Duncan, claims the gun shop and shooting range failed to take proper safety measures in the wake of the murder after Timothy Olin, 30, was left unattended to steal a rented handgun from its shooting range.
Olin left Total Firearms and later killed Duncan and himself at a Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts store. Authorities said someone at Total Firearms called authorities later that day after a gun was missing but didn’t leave a message. The next day, cops tracked the gun back to the store.
In the aftermath of the incident, City Pulse also separately sent two people to the range. They each were also left unattended, like Olin, with rented weapons inside an unlocked room.
Attorneys at Brady Legal and co-counsel Sommers Schwartz have labeled the wrongful death lawsuit as the “first” case to ever be levied against a gun shop and range arising from a murder. The complaint argues it was foreseeable that Olin would use the Glock to shoot and kill Duncan after he left the six-lane gun range with a handgun he was legally barred from possessing.
“This lawsuit seeks to hold the defendants accountable for their irresponsible and unlawful act of putting guns into the hands of a dangerous man prohibited from possessing them,” attorney Erin Davis said in a release. “Through a lack of supervision, they enabled him to stroll out the front door of the range armed and loaded. This resulted in a foreseeable and predictable murder.”
Robert and Christina Carl couldn’t be immediately reached for comment at Total Firearms.
The complaint also alleges Total Firearms violated other federal and state safeguards, including:
• Requiring customers to present a valid state pistol license as proof they are not legally prohibited from possessing a gun.
• Refusing to rent guns to anyone prohibited from legally possessing them.
• Screening potential renters by asking verbal and written questions to verify that they had a legitimate purpose for renting and that they were emotionally stable and/or not mentally ill.
• Refusing to rent firearms to any person showing clear signs of an emotional disturbance and/or mental illness.
• Calling law enforcement to enable further investigation of individuals who appear to be emotionally disturbed and/or suffering from a mental illness.
• Carefully monitoring the use of all rented guns on the firing range through the physical presence and attentiveness of range safety employees.
• Appropriately positioning security cameras and/or other security mechanisms to prevent customers from leaving the premises with rented guns.
• Careful record keeping when guns are checked out or turned in.
• Allowing a customer to leave the premises with a rented gun only if there is first a legal transfer of the gun involving a background check and the production of required transaction records.
• Immediately calling law enforcement if a customer leaves the facility with a gun that has not been legally transferred.
• Maintaining limited and carefully controlled points of entry and exit.
• Outfitting emergency exits with alarms.
• Observing all access points at all times, either in-person or via electronic surveillance, to prevent the removal of rented guns without permission or supervision.