Republicans defeat gun bill, respond with support for mental health measures

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DENVER -- Twenty-four hours after Republicans defeated a “red flag” gun bill that would have allowed family members and law enforcement to remove guns temporarily from dangerous individuals, a measure addressing mental health is making its way through the state Capitol Tuesday.

Currently anyone can be taken away from their guns for 72 hours in what’s known as a mental health hold.

But often times those individuals leave a treatment facility before those 72 hours are up and almost always receive no support for what to do next.

SB 270 would create transitional service that would allow individuals to meet with Coloradans under a 72-hour hold and provide advice on what to do next.

“This actually focuses on people with mental health,” Senator Tim Neville (R-Littleon) said.

Neville opposed the red flag gun warning bill but is a sponsor of this legislation.

“The truth is they are very rarely held for 72 hours, Senator Cheri Jahn said.

“They need help and these services,” Jahn added.

The bill has already passed the state Senate and is making its way through the the state House. It is expected pass and land on the governor’s desk.

Meanwhile fallout from the 'Red Flag' gun warning debate continues at the Capitol with questions swirling as to why it failed.

According to sources,  many conservatives struggled with the idea that guns could be taken away following an ex parte hearing.

Ex parte hearings are hearings where gun owners would not be invited to attend.

Law enforcement and supporters said the order to take away guns needed to be done via an ex parte hearing, otherwise gun owners would know police would soon be coming for their guns, and that would potentially endanger officers.

“If you telegraph that you are coming you are escalating the situation and the respondent-who is in a mental health crisis-is going to have a chance to load their guns, board up the windows and bunker down,” Rep. Alec Garnet (D-Denver), a sponsor of the now failed legislation said.

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