Without a single Republican vote, the Centennial State’s legislature passed the Colorado Red Flag bill. Then, on Friday, Gov. Jared Polis, also a Democrat, signed the bill into law.
This bill allows judges to temporarily order firearms be removed from people thought to be a danger to themselves and others. The bill goes into effect immediately.
“This law will not prevent every shooting, but it can be used in a targeted way to make sure that those who are suffering from a mental health crisis are able to temporarily have a court order in place that helps make sure they don’t harm themselves or others,” said Polis, according to The Hill. “Today we may be saving the life of your nephew, your niece, your grandchild.”
This bill allows for family and household members, along with law enforcement officers, to petition for a temporary extreme-risk protection order. If issued, officers can confiscate guns from individuals for up to 364 days. Through this bill gun owners have the burden of proving they are not a danger to themselves or others.
Colorado Red Flag Law Opposition
While proponents claim the law will reduce mass shootings and suicides, the bill received a lot of opposition. In fact, almost half the counties in Colorado have passed resolutions declaring to be “Second Amendment sanctuary counties.” A lot of county sheriffs claim they won’t enforce the new law. In fact, Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams told CNN that he would rather go to jail than enforce this law.
The opposition says the Colorado red flag bill does not address the real issues of gun violence, and will put officers’ live in danger. In fact, some believe the bill will have the opposite effect of its intent.
“This may sound simplistic, but between the firearms locked up in the house, or the individual, the firearms left alone are not a threat,” said Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, according to the Coloradoan. “The individual is deemed to be (the threat.) If we take the firearms away, it doesn’t take away the angst they had if we don’t get them help. It probably leaves them very angry and frustrated with government and maybe anybody who was behind issuing this.
“If it’s a powder keg, it gets worse if we leave. Certainly, we know many other ways for people to act out violently, with edged instruments, with bludgeons, with vehicles, with any number of things.”