DENVER — Supporters of the ‘Red Flag’ gun bill said they feel confident going into Thursday’s session at the State Capitol where the controversial bill is set to be re-introduced inside the State House of Representatives.
It’s the bill’s second go-around at the State Capitol. Republicans killed it during the last legislative session. Democrats feel confident now that their party controls both chambers.
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 taken away if a 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.
The bill was born in the wake of Deputy Zackari Parrish’s death during a New Year’s Eve ambush.
“The person who murdered Zackari Parrish was at risk to himself and to others and people in his life were trying to take his gun away because they knew he was a threat but they didn’t have the legal protections to do so,” said State Senator Brittany Pettersen.
Parrish’s boss, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock, has been an advocate for the bill and said the Deputy Zackari Parrish Violence Prevention Act could have saved his deputy’s life.
This will be Representative Tom Sullivan’s second time introducing this bill in the House of Representatives. His son Alex was murdered during the 2012 Aurora Theater Shooting.
“I’m not doing this for Alex and my family. I am doing this for yours,” said Sullivan in a press conference last week.
Last session, republicans killed the bill arguing it impeded on Second Amendment rights. Republicans also argued it could disproportionately impact veterans and increase the stigma around mental health.
“They figured out a way to make this bill worse than last year’s bill,” said Rep. Patrick Neville, the Republican House Minority Leader. “Their actions do have consequences,” Neville said.
Rocky Mountain Gun Owners plans to fight this bill every step of the way.
“Colorado gun owners loudly oppose so-called ‘red-flag’ schemes because they are a gross violation of due process protections,” said Dudley Brown, the executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.