NewsCapitol Watch


Sponsor of Colorado’s ‘red flag’ legislation faces recall effort

Posted at 3:16 PM, May 14, 2019

DENVER – The Colorado Secretary of State’s office has approved the format of a recall petition for first-term Democrat State Representative Tom Sullivan, who represents District 37 in Arapahoe County.

The backer of the recall effort is Kristine Brown, the vice chair of the Colorado Republican Party. Supporters of the effort now have until July 12 to collect 10,035 signatures to submit for certification by the Secretary of State’s Office.

RELATED: 360° Perspective: Red flag laws / 360° Perspective: Colorado Recall Elections

Rep. Tom Sullivan
Rep. Tom Sullivan (D- Arapahoe)

Sullivan was front and center on February 14th as he announced the intention to introduce HB19-1177, the Extreme Risk Protection Orders bill. It was named the Deputy Zackari Parrish III Violence Protection Act in honor of the Douglas County deputy killed in the line of duty on New Year’s Eve 2017 while responding to a call involving a mentally ill veteran named Matthew Riehl.

The bill signed into law this Spring is very personal to Sullivan as his son Alex was killed in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting.

The Extreme Risks Protection Order law allows for a  legal process to 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.

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 passed measures in opposition, some now considering themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries.”

Rep. Rochelle Galindo

The other lawmaker facing a recall effort was Rep. Rochelle Galindo (D-Greeley). The format of the recall petition against her was also approved by the Secretary of State’s office, but she resigned suddenly on Sunday, May 12.

“I will not put my constituents through what will surely be a recall campaign based on political smear tactics and false allegations,” Galindo stated in a release.

The recall petition is now voided due to her resignation. The petition format was approved in early April. Supporters of the recall effort had until June 3 to collect at least 5,696 signatures.