Upset gun owners speak out against proposed ‘Red Flag’ law at Colorado Capitol

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DENVER — Many gun owners in Colorado are upset about a proposed ‘Red Flag’ law, and on Thursday, they let lawmakers know it.

“It is a violation of the Second Amendment,” said Lance Touvey, a gun owner from Longmont.

“It’s an overreach and not necessary,” said Duane Thompson, a veteran and gun owner.

“It’s going to violate our rights and put us through the ringer,” said Jafar Partowma, another gun owner.

The bill gun owners are concerned about is named after Zackari Parrish, the Douglas County sheriff’s deputy who was killed by a man known to be a threat to law enforcement. The bill would create extreme risk protection orders in Colorado, which would allow — with court approval — family members and law enforcement to temporarily take away guns from someone if they are deemed a risk.

The “red flag” bill, as it is commonly known, was heard in the House Judiciary Committee Thursday. It advanced after ten hours of testimony by a vote of 7-4. It will now be heard in the House Appropriations Committee where it is also expected to advance.

Supporters say the measure is about commonsense violence prevention.

“We have a mental health crisis in this state,” said Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock in support of the bill Thursday.

Under the proposal, any family member, household member or law enforcement officer could go before a judge and ask for an extreme risk protection order. A judge could then immediately order a person’s guns be taken away if the person is deemed a threat.

Within 14 days, a formal hearing must take place where the gun owner could request their guns back. Legal representation would be provided by the state.

If a judge still deems an individual a risk, their guns could be taken away for up to 364 days.

Last year, Democrats tried to pass a similar bill. It failed in the Republican-controlled Senate. Democrats now control that chamber, which is why the bill has a strong chance to become law.

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