Colorado’s attorney general believes sheriffs will follow ‘red flag’ law

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DENVER — Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser spoke Tuesday at a community gathering at a Denver synagogue. The focus of the gathering was to discuss the upcoming implementation of Colorado’s "red flag" law.

The controversial law — opposed by dozens of Colorado’s sheriffs — allows judges to order guns be taken from those who are feared to be dangerous.

Weiser says he expects sheriffs to follow the law by complying with judges’ orders to seize guns. However, vocal critics say there are simply too many constitutional issues.

Sheriff Steve Reams of Weld County says he’s willing to run the risk of being ordered to his own jail before telling his deputies to seize guns.

In the face of defiance from Colorado sheriffs, Weiser told FOX31 on Tuesday that he believes the current rhetoric from sheriffs is all political talk.

“Right now, people can say all sorts of things ... but when it’s an actual person, who you know, whose life is on the line — I believe we’re going to see different behavior,” Weiser said.

Weiser called the law a “very well-tailored response” to gun violence in Colorado.

The law that takes effect Jan. 1 allows concerned family members or roommates to request law enforcement to petition the courts — or go straight to the courts themselves — to have a judge temporarily remove guns from people who show signs that they pose a danger to themselves or others.

Reams says he’s OK with following only a portion of the law by serving people with an extreme risk protection order, but that’s where he says the process stops for him.

“If I were placed in a situation where the judge said, 'Here’s the order — we’re expecting you to go out and seize weapons.' I’m just not going to do that,” Reams said.

Supporters of the law at Tuesday’s community meeting say enough is enough. They want a mechanism in place that could hopefully prevent future mass shootings.

“If you analyze the numbers in places like Indiana or California, you might expect Colorado ... to have maybe 150 or so cases per year,” Weiser told the crowd.

Weiser said Colorado is leading the country in its approach on red flag legislation.

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