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Gov. Polis signs Extreme Risk Protections Orders into state law

Posted: 1:15 PM, Apr 12, 2019
Updated: 2019-04-12 18:22:28-04

Gov. Polis signs Extreme Risk Protection Orders bill

WATCH LIVE: Gov. Jared Polis signs the “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” bill into law. Full story: https://bit.ly/2G7QzcV

Posted by KOAA 5 on Friday, April 12, 2019

DENVER – Colorado Governor Jared Polis’ has signed the controversial “Extreme Risk Protection Orders” bill into law Friday.

Polis was joined by bill sponsors and Democrats Representative Tom Sullivan, Representative Alec Garnett, Senator Lois Court and Senator Brittany Pettersen.

The bill, also known as the “Red Flag Bill”, would allow law enforcement officers or family members to ask a court to temporarily remove guns from the possession of a person determined to be a danger to themselves or others.

A petition to the court must:

  • be filed in the county where the firearms owner lives
  • include an affidavit signed under oath of the allegations someone is a risk to themselves or others
  • identify the number, types, and locations of any firearms believed to be in the person’s ownership, possession, custody, or control
  • identify if the person is required to possess, carry, or use a firearm as a condition of employment
  • identify if there is a domestic abuse protection order against the person
  • identify if there is a pending lawsuit, complaint, petition, or other action between the two parties (does not mean an order cannot be issued)
  • state if the person filing has contacted a local law enforcement agency about their concerns

The person filing the petition may also request their address be omitted from all documents if they can provide evidence having it publicly available could put them at risk.

READ THE FINAL ACT

If a court approves an order to seize weapons from someone deemed a risk, they would be allowed a hearing up to 364 days later to determine if their weapons should be returned or where the order should be extended.

Commissioners in roughly half of the counties in Colorado have passed measures in opposition, some now considering themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries.”

RELATED:   360° Perspective: Red flag laws

As the bill moved through the Colorado General Assembly, many sheriffs spoke out against the bill. Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser supports the measure. “I believe the  Heller Decision  is quite clear, the Second Amendment right to bear arms is not absolute,” Weiser said.

The signing of the bill will likely spark legal challenges and appeals from opponents of the law. Opponents have said the law violates protections against illegal search and seizure in the fourth amendment of the U.S. Constitution. They also said it violates due process rights mentioned in the fifth amendment of the Constitution.

Supporters of the bill include Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle and Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock. Spurlock’s office lost Deputy Zackari Parrish on New Year’s Eve 2017 when he was shot and killed by a mentally ill veteran named Matthew Riehl. Riehl’s mental health concerns were known to his relatives, doctors, and law enforcement prior to shooting and Sheriff Spurlock has publicly stated his belief that a red flag law, sometimes called a gun restraining order, could have prevented the violence.

El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder provided the following statement about the new law:

“There is a mental health crisis in this country, in this state and our communities.  The Red Flag Bill does nothing to address the underlying mental health of an individual, it only violates in my opinion, the right of a citizen to possess firearms. As I previously stated, I am exploring all available legal options and am committed to vigorously challenge the constitutionality of this law.” – El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder

Read more on Elder’s opinion of the law in this March 2018 report from News5’s Andy Koen.

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