Colorado’s Newest Red Flag ERPO Bill Is Worse Than You Think – And Gun Owners Should Be Worried

 

Colorado’s Newest Red Flag ERPO Bill Is Worse Than You Think : Rally for our Rights Colorado

Democrat state lawmakers have introduced a Red Flag Emergency Risk Protection Order (ERPO) bill into the 2019 Colorado legislative session. This bill, HB19-1177, which was introduced Thursday, February 14th, is far worse than a previously introduced bill which died in 2018.  Question everything you hear the media say about this legislation. The devil is in the details.

Here’s the claim of what this bill does:

A family member or law enforcement officer would petition a court to request the ability to immediately seize a person’s guns. If a judge signs the order, the weapons can be taken away and the court must hold a hearing within 14 days to determine whether to extend the seizure and bar the person from purchasing more firearms. The longest a judge could order the seizure of firearms is 364 days. The entire process is a civil, not criminal, proceeding.

Now let’s break down the bill language:

Who can petition the courts? 

According to the bill summary and media reports, only family or household members, and law enforcement can petition the courts. But what is the definition of “family member” and “household member”?

According to the bill language, “family or household member” means:

• Person related by blood, marriage, or adoption;

• Person who has a child in common with the respondent, regardless of whether such person has been married to the respondent or has lived together with the respondent at any time;

•  Person who regularly resides or regularly resided with the respondent within the last six months;

• Domestic partner of the respondent;

• Person who has a biological or legal parent-child relationship with the respondent, including stepparents and stepchildren and grandparents and grandchildren;

• Person who is acting or has acted as the respondent’s legal guardian;

• A person in any other relationship described in section 18-6-800.3 (2) with the respondent.  [So, what does 18-6-800.3 (2) say? “Intimate relationship” means a relationship between spouses, former spouses, past or present unmarried couples, or persons who are both the parents of the same child regardless of whether the persons have been married or have lived together at any time.]

Say what?!  This is who they define as a “family member” or “household member”?  This person doesn’t need to be either a family member or a household member.  We’re talking scorned ex’s, those pretending to be scorned ex’s, angry former roommates, those in custody disputes, and so on.  And that’s not even touching on law enforcement’s ability to petition for an ERPO.  Co-worker mad?  All they have to do is make a report to the police that you’re a danger to yourself or another, and they can have your firearms confiscated.

What is needed to file the ERPO petition?

The filing of the ERPO petition can be done either in person or over the phone.  The petition must be filed in the county court of where the accused lives – but since the petitioner can do it over the phone, they don’t even need to be in the same state.  There is NO filing fee.  The petitioner even has the option to not provide their address – for safety, of course – never mind the address could simply be left off any actual order as they do with temporary restraining orders.

Questions that will be asked on the petition include how many firearms the accused has, what types, and where the are located.  This doesn’t only include ownership – it also includes possession, custody, or control.  Petitioners are also asked to disclose if there are any other legal actions pending between parties, such as: current restraining orders, lawsuits, civil suits, custody cases, etc, but the existence of such cases shall not delay or prevent an ERPO from being granted.

And finally, no one is required to tell the accused that a petition is being filed or has been filed.

What happens after the ERPO petition is filed?

Once an ERPO is filed, a hearing will be set either the same day or the next day.  Once again, the petitioner does not need to be present. They can attend this hearing over the phone, while never being required to show proof of any relationship to the accused, and not even provide their address!  At this hearing, the petitioner will be asked to provide a “preponderance” of evidence with the goal being to convince the fact finder judge that there is a greater than 50% chance that the claim is true.  Now, remember, this is over the telephone.

What kind of evidence are they looking for?  A recent act or credible threat of violence, even if such act does not involve use of a firearm.  Self harm or threats of self harm within the past year.  A prior violation of a protection order.   A previous ERPO.   Prior domestic violence convictions.  Prior ARREST, not even conviction, of a whole host of other crimes.  Ownership, access to, or intent to purchase a firearm.  Drug or alcohol abuse.  Recent acquisition of a firearm or ammunition.  How do you provide this evidence during a telephone hearing?

At this hearing the court will either approve or deny the ERPO.  If it is denied, they must document reasoning for denial.  Judges will err on the side of caution.  Once the ERPO is approved, a warrant to search the home for weapons is also issued.  All while the only person who has no idea this is happening, is the person being accused of no crime.

How will the ERPO be enacted?

Once the ERPO and warrant are in hand, it’s time for the police to take action.  Considering we see SWAT teams show up to homes where someone is reported to possibly be suicidal, it won’t be pretty.  The county sheriff is required to work with city police.  They will show up at the door without so much as a warning, manually deliver the order, ask the accused to surrender their firearms, and if they refuse or claim to have none, they will search the home.  Honestly, even if firearms are surrendered, they will likely STILL search the home.  Did the petitioner make claim you have firearms at a place of business?  Expect that location to be included on the search warrant.  During this interaction, law enforcement is required to determine if the accused should be put into a 72 hour involuntary commitment hold.

It is not unlikely children, spouses, even co-workers will be present during these raids.

Once the firearms have been confiscated, the accused will be asked if they’d like to sell them, store them with law enforcement, or store them with a FFL.  The accused’s information will also be added to the CBI and NICS database prohibiting them from purchasing guns.

Along with the order that will be delivered upon the accused, a court date for 14 days later is given.  This will be the first opportunity the accused will have to speak on their own behalf.

What happens at the 14 day ERPO hearing? 

Prior to the hearing, the court will appoint an attorney or the accused can obtain their own or they can proceed self represented.  Because no one has been charged with a crime, these are civil cases, not criminal.  This means public defenders are not used, but instead the state would appoint one from a pool of attorneys who have agreed to work these cases.  These are not provided at no cost – unless you qualify as indigent according to the court.  It is unclear what the cost will be.

During this hearing the petitioner and the accused will have the ability to provide evidence, call witnesses, cross examine witnesses, etc.  The petitioner does not need to be present, and can provide sworn affidavits.

At the end of the hearing, the judge will either dismiss the ERPO, and the firearm rights of the accused will be restored and their guns returned.  Or the temporary ERPO will become a permanent ERPO.  This would mean it will remain in effect for 364 days.  The judge has the discretion to schedule hearings sooner than the 364 days if he or she believes the order should be lifted sooner.  The accused also has ONE opportunity during that 364 day period to request a hearing.  If they do request a hearing, the petitioner is alerted and that person can request it be denied.

What happens when the 364 days is up?

Whew, it’s been a long year by this point.  So what happens now?  The petitioner will be alerted that the ERPO is going to expire, and they can request it be extended.  If this happens, another hearing similar to the one at 14 days will take place.  And it begins again…

What are the penalties?

Any person who has in his or her custody or control a firearm or purchases, possesses, or receives a firearm with knowledge that he or she is prohibited from doing so by an ERPO or temporary ERPO is guilty of a class 2 misdemeanor.

What can you do to help stop this? Contact your state lawmakers and urge them to oppose this legislation.  CLICK HERE to find contact info for your legislators.  

Attend the first legislative hearing at the Colorado State Capitol on Thursday, February 21st at 1:30pm where the bill will be heard in the House Judiciary Committee!  This hearing is open to the public to both watch and to testify.  RSVP and get more details about the hearing on Facebook here (RSVP not required).  

Watch the video below as we go line by line through this 30 page bill and highlight everything stated in this article.

Ready to help us fight this ERPO bill in Colorado?  Donate here

And get connected by subscribing to our email list and following us on social media.  Find us on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and we even have a private Facebook group where you can connect with fellow gun rights activists.

Parkland One Year Later: The Government Has Blood On Their Hands

Parkland One Year Later: The Government Has Blood On Their Hands Rally for our Rights Colorado
Today marks one year since the United States saw a school massacre that broke the hearts of a nation, ignited a fire in new activists, and if you’re paying attention – shattered your trust in government.  That massacre being the Parkland, Florida school shooting where 19 year old Nikolas Cruz took the lives of 14 classmates and three teachers.

On February 14th, 2018 Nikolas Cruz took an Uber with a backpack equipped with an AR-15, grenades, and ammo to his old school.  He walked past the school security monitor, Andrew Medina, who knew he wasn’t allowed on school grounds and found his presence “suspicious”, although did nothing.  Cruz walked past the building where school resource officer, Scot Peterson, was talking with another student.  Peterson was employed as a sheriff’s deputy with the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, but his charge was to protect the students at Parkland High School.  It should also be noted that Peterson was the only armed person permitted to be on school grounds.  Cruz walked through the unsecured school doors into his former high school from which he’d been expelled.  In this gun free zone not one person attempted to stop him, nor was there any security measures in place.  At 2:21 pm he opened fire.  It was a rampage that would last at least 20 minutes before Cruz simply walked out of the school and into a nearby neighborhood, where he was eventually captured and confessed.

Heartbreaking.  How can this kind of tragedy happen?  It shouldn’t have.  And it wouldn’t have if the government had done their job.  

The Parkland High School Shooting spurred a gun control movement this country hasn’t seen in decades.  March for our Lives formed under umbrella groups Moms Demand Action and Everytown For Gun Safety, all which are funded by Michael Bloomberg, have taken to the streets and the halls of congress.  Frantic and misguided students, parents, teachers and individuals have exploited the Parkland tragedy calling for massive gun control across the nation – from city ordinances to federal laws.  What they should be acknowledging instead is the complete and utter government failure that allowed Parkland to happen in the first place. More laws were not needed. The current laws simply needed to be enforced.

The government has blood on their hands, and as a mother I say that unapologetically.  

• Nikolas Cruz was not a stranger to Broward County law enforcement.  In fact, police had been called to his home at least 37 times over the course of only a few years. 37 TIMES!  The reasons ranged from harming animals (shooting chickens with a pellet gun), assault on his mother, assault on his siblings, harming himself, threatening to harm himself, threatening to harm others, and more.  Not once was he charged.  Not once did the police take any action, even though action on almost all of these would have required his name to be entered into the NICS database preventing him from legally being able to purchase a firearm.

• In addition to the 37 reports law enforcement did follow up on (although ultimately ignored in the end), in February 2016 a tipster called Broward Sheriff’s Office to say Cruz ‘could be a school shooter in the making’ and had been making threats on Instagram, but deputies did not write up a report on that warning, instead they forwarded it to School Resource Officer Scot Peterson. That report came just weeks after a relative called urging Broward Sheriff’s Office to investigate if he should have the weapons he had, and possibly seize them.  In the end, both reports were ignored.

• Late in 2016 a “peer counselor” reported to School Resource Officer Scot Peterson that Cruz had possibly ingested gasoline in a suicide attempt, was cutting himself and wanted to buy a gun. A mental health counselor advised against involuntarily committing Cruz.  In Florida, such action can be done under the Baker Act, which allows the state to involuntarily commit individuals deemed a threat to themselves or others. People committed under the Baker Act are legally barred from obtaining firearms.  This event was followed up on by Florida Department of Children and Families, and even though he had fresh cuts from “cutting” and his mother shared her fear that he constantly talked of wanting to buy a firearm, he was deemed stable and, once again, ignored.

• In September 2017 a YouTube user named “nikolas cruz” postsed a comment stating he wanted to become a “professional school shooter.” The comment was reported to the FBI in Mississippi, but was not followed up on.

• In November 2017 a family member called Broward County Sheriff’s Office to report that Nikolas Cruz was dangerous, had made legitimate threats, and had weapons.  Her concerns were ignored when Cruz told them he’d give the weapons to a family friend.  This again would have been a legitimate use of the Baker Act.

• Also in November 2017, after Cruz’ mother died, he was taken in by a Palm Beach County family.  They contacted the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office to report a fight between Cruz and their 22 year old son. A member of the family said that Cruz had threatened to “get his gun and come back” and that he had “put the gun to others’ heads in the past.” The family did not want him arrested, so the report was ignored.

And again in November 2017 a caller from Massachusetts reported that Cruz is collecting guns and knives and was threatening to be a “school shooter in the making.” A Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy advised the caller to contact the Palm Beach sheriff.  If the caller ever did contact Palm Beach, it’s not on record.

• In January 5, 2018 a report came in to the FBI’s tip line claiming that Cruz has “a desire to kill people” and could potentially conduct a school shooting. The information was never passed on to the FBI’s office in Miami.  The FBI has even publicly acknowledged their failure.

And these are only the failures BEFORE the incident.  Since the incident it has come to light that:

• The only other armed person on school grounds, resource officer Scot Peterson, hid behind a concrete wall during the rampage.

• School Security Monitor, Andrew Medina, had a long history of sexually harassing female students, all which was swept under the rug.

• Broward County Sheriff took 26 minutes to enter to the school.

• Nikolas Cruz was easily able to walk out of the school, blending in with other students and walked into a nearby neighborhood, where he was later arrested.

• After a lawsuit against the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, the school district, and Parkland High, a judge determined that NONE of these entities had a responsibility to protect the students.

You would think after all of this, those closest to the tragedy would be asking why – and how – this kind of failure is possible.  You would think that in the change they wish to see, the government would be the last place they’d be seeking it.  I mean, what makes them think anything will change?  History shows it won’t and it doesn’t, and, in fact,  nearly every mass shooting the US has seen government failure like this exist behind it.

Even last summer during a counter protest Rally for our Rights held while March for our Lives was staging a “March on the NRA”, a conversation afterward between myself and the organizers of the other event resulted in agreement that these failures exist, and that before we discuss new laws, we should be discussing why our current laws are failing.

What is the solution?  We need to acknowledge our society has a violence problem and a suicide problem, but to call it a gun problem is disingenuous.  To create gun control laws that disarm and effect only the law abiding is a false sense of security.  Mental health is a strong component of this issue.  Any individual who will walk into a school and execute students is mentally ill, even if not previously diagnosed.

We have soft targets in schools such as Parkland, where someone like Cruz can simply wander in with nothing in his way, and not one person inside the school is legally given the ability to defend the students they care for as their own.  Programs such as FASTER Colorado provides no cost or low cost intensive training to school staff who voluntarily choose to be armed and is approved by their school board.  They are also provided with deep concealment training, trauma training, and psychological training.

In the end, we will never eradicate evil, but we can defend ourselves from it.  

 

Rep Jason Crow Uses Felon With Violent Record To Push For Gun Control At SOTU

Rep Jason Crow Uses Felon With Violent Record To Push For Gun Control At SOTU Rally for our Rights Colorado

Tonight, during the State Of The Union, Colorado Congressman Jason Crow has announced he will be inviting the mother of a young man who was killed by gunshot in Aurora, Colorado last year.  The Congressman is using Mary Majok, a Sundanese refugee, and the tragedy of losing her son, to exploit what he refers to as “gun violence” and the steps he believes should be taken to end it.  He even goes so far as to compare Colorado to the horror ridden civil war in Sudan which Mary and thousands of others have fled.  Pretty sure the skyrocketing population in Colorado would disagree that people are fleeing the state due to gun violence.

The use of this individual victim has a glaring problem.  The perpetrator: Joseph Lugo.  

On March 21st, 2018, Joseph Lugo shot and killed Mary’s son, Potros Mabany, 21, and wounded another man.  Mabany was shot twice.

Lugo, a native of New York, has a lengthy arrest record in Colorado. He has multiple weapons arrests — including for being a felon in possession of a weapon and for having a defaced firearm — as well as rape, assault, menacing and kidnapping charges on his record.

In fact, Lugo is a prime example of what gun rights advocates repeat almost ad nauseam: criminals don’t follow laws, only the law abiding do.  Reg flag legislation, universal background checks, and banning “military-style assault rifles” wouldn’t have stopped Lugo – all gun control slated on Congressman Crow’s agenda.

Lugo was a public safety threat and we are glad he is off the streets.  People like him are why people like us carry.  People like him are why we want to have rifles available to defend our homes.  And if Congressman Crow really cared about the safety of his constituents, he’d be talking about how they can keep themselves safe, not pushing to disarm them.

We will never eradicate evil, but we can defend ourselves from it. 

 

Why Common Sense Gun Laws Only Criminalize The Law Abiding

Why Common Sense Gun Laws Only Criminalize The Law Abiding : Rally for our Rights Colorado

The alleged “common sense” gun laws start to sound more and more like denial of rights, firearms seizures and criminalization of law abiding citizens than solutions to gun safety.

For me, and many of my friends, common sense gun laws would include: firearms safety training *gasp* IN SCHOOLS and elsewhere, taught by qualified firearms instructors. It is, well, asinine, to see that in today’s society, when students post pictures of themselves behaving safely or training with firearms, schools suspend, expel or contact police. They should encourage safe training. Common sense, eh?

Additionally, these same hypocrites claim, “Only trained people should BE ALLOWED to have/use firearms.” Okay, so if we even compromise and give them that point, they are hysterical when they encounter pictures or videos of people training. “Look what they are doing! They are preparing for war, to kill people.”

Umm, what do they call training? It no doubt does NOT involve actually handling a firearm.

It is obvious they don’t want law-abiding citizens to be trained in safe weapons handling.

When one of Longmont, CO’s citizens proposed the city recognize a “Firearms Safety Day,” via a proclamation, the mayor (allegedly a strong 2A supporter) nixed it as “too controversial,” and another council member claimed she would walk out and not be part of it. So are they opposed to gun safety? Or in favor of unsafe firearms use?

Clearly, safety training with firearms is obviously NOT considered “common sense.”

Perhaps we should breakdown the deaths involving firearms. According to a recent New York Times article, in 2017 the United States saw 39,773 deaths from firearms. This number INCLUDES self-defense shootings, police shootings of criminals, accidental deaths and – the largest percent – suicides.

Almost 24,000 (60%) were suicides. Tragic, yes, it is. But that should be dealt with through mental health programs and intervention, NOT by attacking the rights of law-abiding citizens. Where is the outcry on that issue? Common sense.

Since doing completely away with the Second Amendment has been so difficult, the big trend now is to deny the First, Fourth, Sixth, Seventh and probably more. I am referring to Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO or Red Flag laws). These laws allow virtually anyone to claim to police they feel threatened, overheard scary gossip, or just don’t like you – and police can seize your firearms (actually any “weapons”) for anywhere from weeks to months to forever. No need to prove guilt – you must prove your innocence! 

It’s been asked before, repeatedly, and never answered: How does restricting – nay, infringing – on the rights of law abiding citizens by passing more laws stop criminals? Can someone please explain how lawbreakers will be foiled by more laws? In fact, somewhere over 80% of the recent mass shootings have been in “gun free” zones. Not working too well, eh? Trash them; common sense.

The real problem, as I and others have said before, isn’t firearms. It is NOT “gun violence.” It is violence. Guns can – and do – protect us from violence.

Let’s address the issue of VIOLENCE. Address how to deal with the perpetrators of violence, how to prevent suicide and get help for the chronically depressed. Not demonize our protection from the evil in society.

If the anti-rights crowd wants to sit down and have a REAL conversation about common sense and compromise, I think we would listen. But as long as all they want is to push an agenda and dismantle the United States‘ Constitution….keep your hands off my guns – and my God-given, Constitutionally-protected rights.

Tired of being demonized as a law abiding gun owner?  Help us get these billboards up!  Donate here: www.gofundme.com/gun-rights-billboards

gun rights save lives billboard colorado rally for our rights

Why Compromise Is A Losing Game For Gun Rights

There has been a lot of talk lately about “common sense” gun laws. Anti-rights groups have been crowing for them and boasting that the vast majority of United States’ citizens want them.

But what are these “common sense” laws?

While parading a few, with the common disclaimer, “We do NOT want to take your guns!,” in fact, they DO. Along with this, the anti-rights fanatics have blathered for “compromise” and plead that lack of action has cost lives.

What, exactly, do they mean by “compromise?”

Some history:

Since 1927 the federal government has been attacking citizens’ Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms. They began by banning mail-order firearms (some exceptions); then (in 1934), short-barreled rifles and shotguns and silencers were taxed and fully automatic weapons were strictly regulated. All done in the name of “stopping crime.” In 1938 they began licensing dealers and manufacturers of firearms, and compelled them to keep records. They also banned sales to felons. It was in 1968, driven by (initially) JFK’s assassination, Martin Luther King’s murder and Robert Kennedy’s murder that federal government really stepped up restrictions on sales to minors, criminals, drug addicts and interstate firearm sales.

Finally, in 1993 (after surviving a 1981 assassination attempt on then-president Reagan, for whom he was press secretary), James Brady saw his more than a decade of campaigning for stronger gun control come to fruition: congress passed the Brady Bill and president Clinton signed it into law.

The bill required background checks for gun sales and a waiting period for handgun sales (waiting period later removed, due, in part, to legal concerns over liability in self defense purchases).

Many states (and cities) have been passing assorted “laws” restricting certain firearms with arbitrary features, assorted magazines – based on capacity, and various accessories deemed “too dangerous” (read: it looks scary!). The interesting facts here are that virtually all of these restricted or banned items still turn up in the hands of criminals. It appears the only people suffering from governmental overreach are law-abiding citizens.

So; let’s get back to the cries for “compromise:” to date, law-abiding citizens have seen rights taken at every turn, with few reversals or repeals to the restrictions (record keeping was deemed unconstitutional and later removed as a provision, some interstate sales were allowed and some import restrictions lifted).

Compromise? It appears that the anti-rights groups define compromise as trampling Constitutional rights and “allowing” law-abiding citizens to practice SOME rights protected by the Constitution – at their discretion and after paying a fine. AND – rather than defend our rights, elected charlatans and prima donnas seize the opportunity to do SOMETHING (ANYTHING!) and pass laws to infringe on the LAW-ABIDING among us. Then they crow about how they care and ignore the fact that criminals continue to commit crimes.

Remember; laws passed will have NO impact on criminals, other than to simplify their goal to steal, harm, rape and murder.

For me, and many like me, compromise means give and take. We have given much and received NOTHING, anti-rights groups have taken much and given NOTHING. So let’s stop this talk of compromise, no matter how nice it sounds to others. It is a seizure of rights, infringement, plain and simple.

“Infringe”
in·fringe
/inˈfrinj/

– to actively break the terms of a law or agreement.
– act so as to limit or undermine.

Now we’re getting somewhere. “Infringement” sounds more like what anti-rights groups term “compromise.” Why do you suppose compromise is the endorsed word? Could it be that “infringement” is specifically cited as forbidden in the text of the Second Amendment? That “compromise” sounds so friendly and reasonable, while “infringement” sounds more like the attack on rights that they are endorsing?

It appears compromise is not what they are after, so we move on.

Who decides what laws equate to “common sense” gun control? It sure SOUNDS reasonable. Unfortunately, the anti-rights groups don’t mention that they alone get to set the parameters of “common sense.” There will be no dialogue with supporters of Constitutional Rights to determine where the boundaries lie. Anti-rights fanatics will determine:

• Who is allowed to own a firearm

• How many firearms a law-abiding citizen may own

• What fee must be paid to allow law-abiding citizens to practice their Constitutionally-protected right

• EXACTLY what type of firearm law-abiding citizens may own

• How many bullets law-abiding citizens may carry said weapons

• When and where law-abiding citizens my carry or store their weapons

• How law-abiding citizens MUST store allowed weapons (often unloaded, making quick use impossible)

• In some cases, how much ammunition law-abiding citizens may possess

I repeat “law-abiding citizens” because, remember, criminals don’t worry about what laws “feel good” politicians pass.

Only self-aggrandizing, foolish politicians would think restricting the rights of all will impact the actions of criminals.

Tired of being demonized as a law abiding gun owner?  Help us get these billboards up!  Donate here: www.gofundme.com/gun-rights-billboards

gun rights save lives billboard colorado rally for our rights