Colorado Senate gives final approval to ‘red flag’ gun bill, sends it back to House

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DENVER -- The Colorado Senate passed the controversial “red flag” bill that would allow guns to be seized from people who are determined by a court to pose a significant risk to themselves or others.

The Senate passed the measure, creating extreme risk protection orders, 18-17 on Thursday. It will now go back to the House, which has already approved it, to consider Senate amendments.

Voting against the measure was Senate President Leroy Garcia, the top Democrat in the chamber. All Senate Republicans voted against it.

Since the measure already passed the House, the bill is expected to be acted upon swiftly.

Gov. Jared Polis has signaled his support for the bill.

Republicans defeated similar legislation in 2018 before they lost control of the Senate in November elections.

The legislation would allow family or law enforcement to seek a court order to have guns seized if they believe the owner is a threat.

If approved, a court hearing would be held within 14 days to determine whether to extend the seizure, up to 364 days.

The bill also would require anyone whose guns are seized to prove that he or she no longer poses a risk in order to get them back.

Many in Colorado’s law enforcement community have come out against the bill, including the Denver and Aurora police unions, and several sheriffs.

One of the key supporters is Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock. The bill is named after one of his deputies, Zackari Parrish, who was shot and killed in the line of duty in 2017.

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