California massacre has Colorado lawmakers looking at ‘red flag’ laws

DENVER -- The shooting in California is on a lot of people’s minds. That’s especially true for lawmakers who say they will once again consider 'red flag laws' in Colorado.

They’ve tried to pass the gun legislation before, but failed.

Lawmakers told us Thursday it is one of their top priorities.

It was the Aurora theater shooting that prompted Tom Sullivan to fight for red flag laws.

Sullivan’s son, Alex, was killed in the massacre. “It became  my responsibility to make people aware of that and to do whatever I could to make sure that doesn’t happen to anybody else.”

Sullivan is among a wave of newly elected state representatives and senators who plan to take up gun legislation in the upcoming session.

State Representative Alec Garnett said, “I think we have the opportunity to get there and last year it just got caught in committee.”

Red flag laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders, would allow family members and law enforcement officers to go before judges and request guns be temporarily taken away from individuals who pose risks.

Freshman Representative Rod Bockenfeld gave FOX31 a statement which in part said, "I believe there is a version of the Red Flag Law that can be passed with bi-partisan support.”

Part of a statement sent by incoming Representative Janice Rich said, “I was not a legislator last year. But I wasn’t supportive of the Red Flag bill that was introduced during the last three days of the session. I would want some time to consider all unintended consequences of a bill before I commit to support or oppose.”

A previous attempt to pass red flag laws failed in the Republican-controlled senate.

With Democrats now in control, many believe a red flag law now has a much better chance.

Governor-elect Jared Polis and the new attorney general both support the legislation.

Attorney General-elect  Phil Weiser said, "It still saves lives there have been studies in California, for every 10 red flag orders it saves a life.”

The hope is it stops scenes like the one in Aurora from ever happening again.

Lawmakers tell us they believe red flag laws will save lives.

Some of them are hoping to get the law passed during the next legislative session.

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