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Colorado Lawmakers react to President Trump's Red Flag law remarks

Posted at 7:10 PM, Aug 05, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-06 07:34:11-04

EL PASO COUNTY — President Trump held a special briefing in the wake of mass shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton Ohio in which he laid out action items, including a call for a national Red Flag law, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders.

"We must make sure those judged to pose a grave risk to public safety do not have access to firearms. And if they do, those firearms can be taken through rapid due process," Trump said. "That is why I have called for 'Red Flag laws' or Extreme Risk Protection Orders."

It is a hot button issue in Colorado this year, with a Red Flag bill passing in the legislature.

In Colorado, Democratic Gov. Jared Polis signed the Extreme Risk Protection Order bill into law in April, sparking outrage from many Republicans and leading counties and cities in Colorado to declare themselves second amendment sanctuaries. Gov. Polis' decision to sign the law is also one of several main reasons the "Recall Polis" campaign is urging voters to sign petitions to remove him from office.

The Colorado bill made it through the legislature because of the Democratic majority. “I think we really did get a very comprehensive, balanced and fair bill,“ said El Paso County Democrat, Marc Snyder. No Republicans supported the bill. “[The] law is a set of details that is a violation of so many rights," said Republican Senator Paul Lundeen from El Paso County. Red Flag laws allow for confiscation of firearms by law enforcement if someone is reported as unstable or mentally compromised.

Despite a proposal with the same premise of what they passed in Colorado, Democrats question the President’s sincerity. “I think President Trump is very good at protecting his own reputation, so to speak," said Snyder

Republicans who opposed Colorado’s bill, say he may introduce better legislation, but they need more details. "The President's comments are vague and the reality is, when you make policy, it's not vague," said Lundeen.

RELATED: 360° Perspective: Red flag laws

In addition to his support for so-called "red flag" legislation, President Trump also called for people who might commit mass murder to be held in "involuntary confinement" when needed.

"We must reform our mental health laws to better identify mentally disturbed individuals who may commit acts of violence and make sure those people not only get treatment, but when necessary, involuntary confinement," Trump said. "Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun."

He also called on social media companies to find ways to spot shooters ahead of time.

"I am directing the Department of Justice to work in partnership with local, state and federal agencies as well as social media companies to develop tools that can detect mass shooters before they strike," Trump said. "The monster in the Parkland High School in Florida had many red flags against him and yet nobody took decisive action, nobody did anything. Why not?"

In addition to those steps, Trump also called for the death penalty for those convicted of hate crime mass murders and urged lawmakers to work together to find solutions.