Colorado counties declare themselves '2nd Amendment sanctuaries' in response to red-flag gun bill

Posted 03/7/2019

by: Marianne Goodland

At least four Colorado counties have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries in response to the red-flag gun bill passed by the state House on Monday and headed to the state Senate.

The bill would allow a judge to order guns be temporarily seized from someone deemed dangerous to themselves or others.

Weld County, population 305,000, adopted its Second Amendment sanctuary resolution Wednesday.

El Paso County has not taken a stand on the proposed law, although Sheriff Bill Elder plans to discuss it at a news conference Thursday.

Sheriff Steven Nowlin refused to sign the Montezuma County resolution, citing his obligation to uphold the law, reports the Cortez Journal. But he said he supports the resolution.

Fremont County’s resolution was adopted unanimously Feb. 26. It says the county will not appropriate funds or direct employees to enforce a law that “infringes on the right of the people to keep and bear arms.”

Under House Bill 1177, a family or household member or law enforcement officer could petition a court for a temporary “extreme risk protection order” if they can demonstrate that a person poses a significant risk to themselves or others by possessing a firearm.

A second hearing on the petition would be held within 14 days, requiring the petitioner to show by “clear and convincing evidence” that the respondent is still a danger. At that time, the person’s weapons can be held for up to 364 days while that person seeks treatment, which the bill says can be ordered by the court.

Once the temporary order is issued, the respondent must turn over all weapons to law enforcement or a federally licensed firearm dealer. To recoup the weapons, the respondent must prove he is no longer a danger, using a “beyond a reasonable doubt” standard.

Supporters say the measure would save lives; opponents see it as an infringement on Second Amendment gun rights.


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