Grieving Gilbert Family Propels ‘Christian’s Law’ to Protect Kids from Accidental Shootings

GILBERT, AZ – A Gilbert family is pushing for a new law in memory of their late son, Christian Petillo, who tragically lost his life in a preventable shooting accident. Christian’s parents, Bruce and Claire Petillo, have introduced a bill called “Christian’s Law” at the state Capitol, aimed at promoting gun safety by requiring homeowners to properly secure their firearms. The bill, sponsored by Rep. Jennifer Longdon, was reintroduced as House Bill 2233 after not progressing in the previous legislative session.

Christian, a 15-year-old boy, was fatally shot during a sleepover at a friend’s house on September 5, 2021. His parents described him as a vibrant and promising teenager who would have celebrated his 18th birthday and graduated from high school this year. The loss of their son has left a permanent void in their lives, filled with both cherished memories and unfulfilled milestones.

According to Bruce and Claire, the incident occurred when Christian and two other friends were handling a gun. The firearm was being passed around when it accidentally discharged, resulting in Christian’s tragic death. The Petillos acknowledge that teenagers often make impulsive decisions and learn from their mistakes, but this is one mistake that can never be undone.

The reintroduction of “Christian’s Law” comes in response to the increase in teen violence within the Gilbert community and the broader East Valley region. Bruce and Claire believe that implementing stricter gun regulations is essential to preventing further accidents or potential catastrophes involving firearms falling into the wrong hands. They hope their bill will receive support and ultimately help protect children’s safety.

The underlying premise of “Christian’s Law” is to encourage responsible gun ownership by comparing it to other safety measures, such as buckling up in a car or using child seats. The Petillos hope that by promoting a mindset of securely storing firearms, they can prevent tragic incidents like the one that took their son’s life.

Their campaign for gun safety legislation is deeply personal, driven by the pain and suffering they have experienced firsthand as grieving parents. They are determined to ensure that no other family has to bear the devastating loss they have endured.

As the bill moves forward, the Petillos continue to advocate passionately for greater gun safety measures, driven by their own lived experience. They believe that their efforts will contribute to a safer environment for children and help prevent future heartbreak caused by firearm accidents.

The Petillos’ journey to pass “Christian’s Law” serves as a stark reminder of the consequences of irresponsible gun ownership. Their courageous push for change aims to create a legacy for their son and protect other families from enduring a similar tragedy.