TELLER COUNTY – A growing number of counties in Colorado are seeing sheriffs and county commissioners state publicly they will not enforce the so-called ‘Red Flag Bill’ moving through the Colorado General Assembly.
A week ago, Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell stated, “I do not support this bill as it is currently written.” On Thursday morning, county commissioners voted unanimously to support the Second Amendment and the right to citizens to bear arms. The did not specifically declare the jurisdiction as a Second Amendment Sanctuary.
Other counties where officials have passed similar resolution include Fremont, Custer, Otero, Weld, Kiowa, Moffat, Rio , Blanco, and Montezuma.
El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder has also stated he does not support the bill as written, but county commissioners have made no indication they will consider a ‘sanctuary’ resolution.
If passed, the Extreme Risk Protection Orders bill (HB19-1177) would allow law enforcement officers or family members to ask a court to temporarily remove guns from a person if they’re determined to be a danger to themselves or others.
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.
HB19-1177 passed the House on Monday by a vote of 38-25 with only Democrats supporting. Representatives Bri Buentello and Don Valdez joined House Republicans in voting against the measure. It has yet to be assigned to a committee in the State Senate.
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.
The bill’s sponsor is freshman Rep. Tom Sullivan, (D) of Centennial who lost his son Alex in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting. He will be joined by House Majority Leader Rep. Alec Garnett, (D) Denver, Sen. Lois Court, (D) Denver, and Sen. Brittany Pettersen, (D) Lakewood.