“Red Flag” ERPO Heads To Colorado Senate Floor – Contact Senators NOW!

CALL TO ACTION!  

Thursday March 21st, HB19-1177: “Red Flag” Emergency Risk Protection Orders ERPO will head to the Colorado State Senate floor for a second reading, debate, and amendments after passing the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee last Friday. This is one of the most critical times to make contact with lawmakers – and we need you to do it today. State Senate Democrats only hold a TWO SEAT majority.  We need all hands on deck right now!

Aside from being grossly unconstitutional, this bill is downright dangerous. Scroll down to get a quick run down of all that is wrong with it. These make excellent talking points when writing emails to legislators.

Contact these legislators immediately by phone and email and ask them to vote NO on HB19-1177!  In addition, if you are in a Democrat district, be sure to call YOUR state senator as well. Not sure who your legislators are? Find out here: www.rallyforourrights.com/elected-officials

Leroy Garcia
[email protected]us
303-866-4878

Kerry Donovan
[email protected]us
303-866-4871

Rachel Zenzinger
[email protected]
303-866-4840

Faith Winter
[email protected]us
303-866-4863

Jessie Danielson
[email protected]
303-866-4856

Tammy Story
[email protected]
303-866-4873

Dominick Moreno
[email protected]co.us
303-866-4857

And send to this entire email list as well.

[email protected]us,
[email protected],
[email protected]co.us,
[email protected]us,
[email protected]co.us,
[email protected]us,
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[email protected]co.us,
[email protected]state.co.us,
[email protected]co.us,
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[email protected]co.us,
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[email protected],
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Here’s Why Colorado’s Red Flag ERPO Bill Is One Of The Most Dangerous In The Nation

This year’s bill is being called an “Emergency Risk Protection Order” or ERPO in an attempt to lose the negative “Red Flag” reputation.  It is also being pushed more than ever as being about suicide prevention.  Don’t let any of it fool you.  The devil is in the details; it’s in the 30 pages of bill language.  You can read a complete break down of these 30 pages here, as well as watch a video going through the language line by line.

Here’s what you’ll hear the media say 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.”

Here’s what they wont tell you: 

• Almost anyone can request an ERPO without even showing their face or providing their address. The definition of “family or household member” is so broad it includes ex-lovers who you have never even lived with!  Or someone *claiming* you once had an affair.  And even old roommates.

• The initial report and hearing can be done over the phone, all while the accused is completely oblivious proceedings are taking place to have his or her firearms confiscated.  There is no due process at this first hearing – which is the hearing where permission is given to confiscate gun!  Even Colorado Attorney General Weiser admits to the lack of due process.  Watch his testimony here.

• The first time the accused learns someone has reported them will be when local law enforcement shows up at their door with an order AND a search warrant prepared to raid your home – while the accused never even committed a crime.  This search warrant is a BRAND NEW type of warrant that is created in the bill – a gun owner specific civil search warrant.  Read all about that here.

• 14 days later is the first time the accused will have a chance to defend themselves against this non-crime.  The burden of proof will fall on the accused, not on the petitioner who can actually provide affidavits rather than attend court!

• The guns will be confiscated for 364 days, during which time the accused only has one opportunity to ask the courts to lift the order.

• There is zero accountability for false accusers. In fact, the filing fee is $0! For comparison, requesting a Temporary Restraining Order in Colorado is $97.  Attorney General Weiser also admitted false claims will be par for the course. Listen to his statements here

• This bill is being touted as a “suicide prevention” bill, when in fact, the fear of having your firearms confiscated will make people terrified to ask for help when they need it, and will undoubtedly escalate situations rather than deescalate them..

• It is so rife for abuse, it can easily be used by someone’s stalker or abuser to have their victim disarmed – legally.

• The ERPO will go on a person’s permanent record EVEN if it is dismissed, meaning it will show up on background checks, etc.

Read a complete write up of the bill here: www.rallyforourrights.com/colorados-red-flag-erpo-worse-than-you-think

Colorado AG Admits To False Claims, Lack Of Due Process As “Red Flag” ERPO Bill Heads To Senate Floor

Colorado AG Admits To False Claims, Lack Of Due Process As "Red Flag" ERPO Bill Heads To Senate Floor

Last Friday, March 15th, after nearly ten hours of testimony, HB19-11477: “Red Flag” Emergency Risk Protection Orders ERPO bill passed out of the Colorado Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee on a 3-2 party line vote. It will be headed to the Senate floor for a full vote in the coming days.  Right now it is critical we contact our State Senators and ask them to oppose this bill, HB19-1177. You can find contact info here, or use the copy/paste email list provided below. 

During this marathon hearing, we heard testimony after testimony from gun owners discussing everything from personal experiences of domestic violence and stalkers – and fears this law would be used to disarm victims, to recounts of SWAT escalating suicide situations.  Concerns the “mentally ill” label in the bill could be used against those in the LGBTQ community, to sound Constitutional arguments.  The testimony was powerful – and on point.

Bill proponent, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock gave a bizarre and unraveling testimony which you can watch here.

But besides Spurlock, one of the most alarming testimonies was given by Colorado State Attorney General Phil Weiser.  During his testimony, he nonchalantly admits this bill will be imperfect, that false accusations are just par for the course, and he oddly compares it to copyright infringement claims.  I have no idea how he thinks removing copyrighted material from a website based on false claims is at all the same as confiscating an innocent person’s firearms. But apparently he does. He then goes on to make it clear, should this law pass, sheriffs and law enforcement must enforce it until it’s determined to be unconstitutional in the courts, which would be years. 

Watch the the video below for his testimony highlights. His full testimony can be found here.

And when you’re done watching the video, email and call these State Senators and ask them to vote NO on HB19-1177:

Leroy Garcia
[email protected]
303-866-4878

Kerry Donovan
[email protected]
303-866-4871

Rachel Zenzinger
[email protected]
303-866-4840

Dominick Moreno
[email protected]
303-866-4857

And copy/paste this entire email list as well:

[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected]

Red Flag ERPO Bill Creates New “CIVIL” Search Warrant Specific To Colorado Gun Owners

Red Flag ERPO Bill Creates New “CIVIL” Search Warrant Specific To Colorado Gun Owners : Rally for our Rights

Buried deep inside the 30 pages of Colorado’s HB19-1177: “Red Flag” Emergency Risk Protection Orders bill language is one of the most frightening – and unconstitutional – aspects of the proposed legislation.  They are creating a new type of search warrant in the state that would be specific to gun owners only: a civil search warrant.  This civil search warrant would be issued along with the initial temporary ERPO, meaning the very first contact between law enforcement and the accused would be a search of the home with the goal being to confiscate firearms.

Currently, with very few exceptions, search warrants are only issued for criminal reasons.  According to mountains of existing case law, search warrants are granted by convincing a neutral and detached magistrate that they have probable cause to believe that criminal activity is occurring at the place to be searched or that evidence of a crime may be found there. Anything that strays from this definition is a blatant violation of the Fourth Amendment.  

Considering ERPO’s would be issued based on accusations by a petitioner over the phone with a $0 filing fee and only requires substantial evidence, this new gun-owner-specific search warrant is more than troubling, it is downright dangerous.  Especially when factoring in who can petition the court for an ERPO, that being: a family member, a spouse, a girlfriend/boyfriend, an ex-spouse, an ex-girlfriend/boyfriend, a roommate, a former roommate, anyone the accused has been intimate with even if they have never resided together, grandparents, stepparents, stepchildren, step-siblings, and anyone in law enforcement. 

The accusations can range from fear someone will harm themselves, or harm others (and not necessarily with a firearm), to simply owning a gun or talking about purchasing one.

I’ve been writing and hitting the airwaves talking about Colorado’s proposed version of a Red Flag Law extensively since the bill was introduced last month, and have said again and again it is one of the most dangerous and overreaching versions I have seen across the country.  This new gun-owner-specific civil search warrant is part of the reason.  Nevertheless, I decided to research if any other states have anything similar tied in with their Red Flag laws, and came up empty handed.  In fact, during my research into civil search warrants, the only examples I could find of them were with intellectual property, and even then they require clear and convincing evidence in order to be granted HB19-1177 only requires substantial evidence to have the warrant issued, and it is not intellectual property being seized – it is real property that is constitutionally protected under the Second Amendment.

So, what’s the difference between “Substantial” and “Clear and Convincing”?

Substantial Evidence: Substantial evidence is “such relevant evidence as a reasonable mind might accept as adequate to support a conclusion.”  This level of evidence is often used in administrative cases such as DMV hearings, or determining unemployment benefits.

Clear and Convincing:  The clear-and-convincing-evidence standard goes by descriptions such as “clear, cogent, unequivocal, satisfactory, convincing” evidence. Generally, this standard is reserved for civil lawsuits where something more than money is at stake, such as civil liberties.

Scary stuff, right?  THIS is why nearly half the counties across Colorado have declared themselves Second Amendment Sanctuaries, with their sheriffs leading the way.  Most county sheriffs read this bill and say “No Way”.  They understand how unconstitutional it is, as well as how dangerous the outcomes can be for both those being accused and law enforcement officers who will be expected to raid someone’s home based on the same level of evidence needed to approve an unemployment application which can be presented by a scorned lover over the phone for $0.

Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution: The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.

Watch this video to hear the bill proponents and sponsors explain this new search warrant in detail…

What else is so bad about this bill?  Well, nearly everything.

This year’s bill is being called an “Emergency Risk Protection Order” or ERPO in an attempt to lose the negative “Red Flag” reputation.  It is also being pushed more than ever as being about suicide prevention.  Don’t let any of it fool you.  The devil is in the details; it’s in the 30 pages of bill language.  You can read a complete break down of these 30 pages here, as well as watch a video going through the language line by line.

Here’s what you’ll hear the media say 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.”

Here’s what they wont tell you: 

• Almost anyone can request an ERPO without even showing their face or providing their address. The definition of “family or household member” is so broad it includes ex-lovers who you have never even lived with!  Or someone *claiming* you once had an affair.  And even old roommates.

• The initial report and hearing can be done over the phone, all while the accused is completely oblivious proceedings are taking place to have his or her firearms confiscated.

• The first time the accused learns someone has reported them will be when local law enforcement shows up at their door with an order AND a search warrant prepared to raid your home – while the accused never even committed a crime.

• 14 days later is the first time the accused will have a chance to defend themselves against this non-crime.

• The guns will be confiscated for 364 days, during which time the accused only has one opportunity to ask the courts to lift the order.

• There is zero accountability for false accusers. In fact, the filing fee is $0! For comparison, requesting a Temporary Restraining Order in Colorado is $97.

• This bill is being touted as a “suicide prevention” bill, when in fact, the fear of having your firearms confiscated will make people terrifed to ask for help when they need it.

• It is so rife for abuse, it can easily be used by someone’s stalker or abuser to have their victim disarmed – legally.

• The ERPO will go on a person’s permanent record EVEN if it is dismissed, meaning it will show up on background checks, etc.

How can you help stop this bill? 

Attend the hearing at the Colorado State Capitol tomorrow, Friday March 15th, 9am in the Colorado Senate State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee.  Come to either show support for those in opposition, or prepared to testify with a one to three minute statement about why you oppose it.

Call and email the members of that committee along with the senate president IMMEDIATELY and ask them to oppose this bill, HB19-1177.

Phone numbers for each member can be found here, and please add Senate President Leroy Garcia to your phone calls: 303-866-4878.

Here is an easy copy/paste to email the entire committee and senate president all at once. Even if you ARE attending the hearing, please make contact this way as well:

[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected],
[email protected]

Get more information about the hearing here.

RSVP for the hearing on Facebook here.

 

red flag erpo colorado

More Than Half Colorado Counties Say WE WILL NOT COMPLY To Red Flag Law Should It Pass

Colorado Counties Say WE WILL NOT COMPLY To Red Flag Law Should It Pass : Rally for our Rights

Recently we reported when two Colorado counties passed resolutions declaring themselves Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties, and since then that number has grown to over half of Colorado’s counties that have either passed a resolution or are poised to pass one at an upcoming meeting.  In addition, two cities have joined with the counties – something we anticipate seeing spread like wildfire.  And have no doubt, this is just the tip of the iceberg as Colorado’s very ugly version of a “Red Flag” Emergency Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) bill is being rushed through the legislature.  The “Red Flag” bill has passed the state house chamber and a senate committee. It is now set for second reading on Thursday, March 21st. We are asking everyone to contact their state senators and ask they oppose this bill!  It is critically important.  CLICK HERE for contact information.  And then make sure to sign our petition in support of strategic recalls should this bill pass! 

Wondering what a Second Amendment Sanctuary County means?  In nearly all of these instances, these efforts are being led by the county sheriff, then joined by the county commissioners, who say no county funds will be used to process ERPO’s or store confiscated weapons, and that the right to keep and bear arms extends to all citizens of the county.  How far will YOUR sheriff go to not comply should HB19-1177 become law?  Well, it varies and I’d suggest asking them yourself for more specific clarificiation.

Here’s the scoop on the current list of Second Amendment Sanctuary counties:

Sedgwick County: Passed Resolution March 20, 2019
Montrose County: Passed Resolution March 20, 2019
Mineral County: Passed Resolution March 19, 2019
Lincoln County: Passed Resolution March 19, 2019
Archuleta County: Passed Resolution March 19, 2019
Delta County: Passed Resolution March 19, 2019
Logan County: Passed Resolution March 19, 2019
Huerfano County: Passed Resolution March 19, 2019
Crowley County: Passed Resolution March 18, 2019
Jackson County: Passed Resolution March 14, 2019
Rio Grande County: Passed Resolution March 13, 2019
Elbert County: Passed Resolution March 13, 2019
Alamosa County: Passed Resolution March 13, 2019
Washington County: Passed resolution March 12, 2019
Douglas County: Passed resolution March 12, 2019 (Sheriff not in support)
Dolores County: Passed resolution March 12, 2019
El Paso County: Passed resolution March 12, 2019 (Sheriff may still enforce law or parts of law)
Prowers County: Passed resolution March 11, 2019
Cheyenne County: Passed resolution March 8, 2019
Park County: Passed resolution March 7, 2019
Teller County: Passed resolution March 7, 2019
Baca County: Passed resolution March 6, 2019
Conejos County: Passed resolution March 6, 2019
Kit Carson County: Passed resolution March 6, 2019
Weld County: Passed resolution March 6, 2019
Moffat County: Passed resolution March 5, 2019
Montezuma County: Passed resolution Feb 28, 2019
Custer County: Passed resolution Feb 28, 2019
Kiowa County: Passed resolution Feb 28, 2019
Fremont County: Passed resolution Feb 26, 2019
Rio Blanco County: Passed resolution May 21, 2018
Otero County: Passed resolution in 2013, although they commissioners and sheriff are refusing to draft language specific to HB19-1177

These municipalities have joined with their counties:

Craig, CO: Passed resolution March 11, 2019
Canon City, CO: Passed resolution March 18, 2019
Milliken, CO: Set to pass resolution
Lamar, CO: Set to pass resolution
Greeley, CO: Considering
Pueblo, CO: Considering

The following counties are considering implementing similar resolutions:

Chaffee County

The Chaffee county sheriff said at state senator Kerry Donovan’s town hall that he is in complete opposition of Colorado’s Red Flag bill, and he joined with the commissioners to draft a letter to the legislature pointing out 14 very specific issues with this legislation.

Morgan County:

Morgan county sheriff and commissioners have stated that they believe HB19-1177 as written is clearly unconstitutional and will not enforce it.  They have chosen to issue a statement rather than a resolution, which will be out in coming days.

Phillips County: 

The Phillips County Sheriff has come out in full opposition, urging the county commissioners to vote for Second Amendment Sanctuary Status.

Garfield County: 

Sheriff of Garfield County Lou Vallario made a public statement about his opposition to HB19-1177 and the county commissioners are working with him to determine next steps.

Pueblo County

The Pueblo County Sheriff has publicly voiced his opposition and two of the three Democrat county commissioner made public statements at their last county commissioner meeting that they have grave concerns with the bill (the third was not present).

Mesa County

Rose Pugliese, chairwoman of the Mesa County Board of Commissioners, said her board passed a comprehensive resolution in 2013 supporting the Second Amendment and she plans to present the newest resolution to the entire board of commissioners in the coming days.  The Mesa County Sheriff has also come out in strong opposition to the Red Flag legislation currently being considered.

Larimer County

In Larimer County, Sheriff Justin Smith has publicly stated his opposition to the current version of the Red Flag bill, and all three county commissioners (including Democrat and former State Senator, John Kefalas) have issued a letter to the Senate asking them to oppose this bill.

Jefferson County

Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader is also in public opposition to HB19-1177.  The Board of County Commissioners have yet to make a statement.  I will reach out to them as well.

Did I miss any?  If so, let me know in the comment and I’ll add them! 

Want yours added to the list?  Contact your county sheriff and county commissioners and ask them what their position is on such a measure.  If they support it, feel free to contact us and we can help make it happen.

In the meantime, make sure you sign our petition in support of strategic recalls!  Click here.  

 

Get a WE WILL NOT COMPLY sticker with any size donation to Rally for our Rights!  CLICK HERE!

We Will Not Comply Stickers Rally for our Rights Colorado

In Anticipation Of Red Flag Law, Colorado Counties Declared Gun Rights Sanctuaries En Masse

Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties Colorado Rally for our Rights

It’s a battle that’s playing out across the nation: states that are pushing gun control legislation directly against the will of the citizens are witnessing entire counties push back en masse.  In New Mexico 29 out of 33 counties have declared themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries”.  In Oregon, ten counties ran “Second Amendment Preservation Ordinances” on the ballot last election, and it passed in eight of them.  In Washington, 20 counties have said they will not enforce the overreaching laws forced upon law abiding citizens when I-1639 passed last November.  And we’re seeing it pop up other places as well, including Nevada and Illinois.

It should come as no surprise with HB19-1177 – “Red Flag” Emergency Risk Protection Orders – looming, Colorado is following suit – and the counties are adding up fast.

 The “Red Flag” bill has passed the state house chamber and a senate committee. It is now set for second reading on Thursday, March 21st. We are asking everyone to contact their state senators and ask they oppose this bill!  It is critically important.  CLICK HERE for contact information.  And then make sure to sign our petition in support of strategic recalls should this bill pass! 

Wondering what a Second Amendment Sanctuary County means?  In nearly all of these instances, these efforts are being led by the county sheriff, then joined by the county commissioners, who say no county funds will be used to process ERPO’s or store confiscated weapons, and that the right to keep and bear arms extends to all citizens of the county.  How far will YOUR sheriff go to not comply should HB19-1177 become law?  Well, it varies and I’d suggest asking them yourself for more specific clarificiation.

Here’s the scoop on the current list of Second Amendment Sanctuary counties:

Montrose County: Passed Resolution March 20, 2019
Mineral County: Passed Resolution March 19, 2019
Lincoln County: Passed Resolution March 19, 2019
Archuleta County: Passed Resolution March 19, 2019
Delta County: Passed Resolution March 19, 2019
Logan County: Passed Resolution March 19, 2019
Huerfano County: Passed Resolution March 19, 2019
Crowley County: Passed Resolution March 18, 2019
Jackson County: Passed Resolution March 14, 2019
Rio Grande County: Passed Resolution March 13, 2019
Elbert County: Passed Resolution March 13, 2019
Alamosa County: Passed Resolution March 13, 2019
Washington County: Passed resolution March 12, 2019
Douglas County: Passed resolution March 12, 2019 (Sheriff not in support)
Dolores County: Passed resolution March 12, 2019
El Paso County: Passed resolution March 12, 2019 (Sheriff may still enforce law or parts of law)
Prowers County: Passed resolution March 11, 2019
Cheyenne County: Passed resolution March 8, 2019
Park County: Passed resolution March 7, 2019
Teller County: Passed resolution March 7, 2019
Baca County: Passed resolution March 6, 2019
Conejos County: Passed resolution March 6, 2019
Kit Carson County: Passed resolution March 6, 2019
Weld County: Passed resolution March 6, 2019
Moffat County: Passed resolution March 5, 2019
Montezuma County: Passed resolution Feb 28, 2019
Custer County: Passed resolution Feb 28, 2019
Kiowa County: Passed resolution Feb 28, 2019
Fremont County: Passed resolution Feb 26, 2019
Rio Blanco County: Passed resolution May 21, 2018
Otero County: Passed resolution in 2013, although they commissioners and sheriff are refusing to draft language specific to HB19-1177

These municipalities have joined with their counties:

Craig, CO: Passed resolution March 11, 2019
Canon City, CO: Passed resolution March 18, 2019
Milliken, CO: Set to pass resolution
Greeley, CO: Considering
Pueblo, CO: Considering

The following counties are considering implementing similar resolutions:

Morgan County:

Morgan county sheriff and commissioners have stated that they believe HB19-1177 as written is clearly unconstitutional and will not enforce it.  They have chosen to issue a statement rather than a resolution, which will be out in coming days.

Montrose County

Montrose County says “We Hear You!” to their citizens.  They took on the issue Tuesday during a work session and will be drafting a resolution, and be voting on it March 20th at the regular meeting.

If you go: 9:30am, Wednesday, March 20th – Montrose County Offices, 317 S 2nd Street, Montrose, CO 81401
Contact the commissioners to express your support here.

Phillips County: 

The Phillips County Sheriff has come out in full opposition, urging the county commissioners to vote for Second Amendment Sanctuary Status.

Garfield County: 

Sheriff of Garfield County Lou Vallario made a public statement about his opposition to HB19-1177 and the county commissioners are working with him to determine next steps.

Sedgwick County

Sedgwick County Sheriff Carlton Britton presented his county commissioners with a formal letter requesting the adoption of a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution.

Pueblo County

The Pueblo County Sheriff has publicly voiced his opposition and two of the three Democrat county commissioner made public statements at their last county commissioner meeting that they have grave concerns with the bill (the third was not present).

Mesa County

Rose Pugliese, chairwoman of the Mesa County Board of Commissioners, said her board passed a comprehensive resolution in 2013 supporting the Second Amendment and she plans to present the newest resolution to the entire board of commissioners in the coming days.  The Mesa County Sheriff has also come out in strong opposition to the Red Flag legislation currently being considered.

Larimer County

In Larimer County, Sheriff Justin Smith has publicly stated his opposition to the current version of the Red Flag bill, and all three county commissioners (including Democrat and former State Senator, John Kefalas) have issued a letter to the Senate asking them to oppose this bill.

Jefferson County

Jefferson County Sheriff Jeff Shrader is also in public opposition to HB19-1177.  The Board of County Commissioners have yet to make a statement.  I will reach out to them as well.

Did I miss any?  If so, let me know in the comment and I’ll add them! 

Want yours added to the list?  Contact your county sheriff and county commissioners and ask them what their position is on such a measure.  If they support it, feel free to contact us and we can help make it happen.

In the meantime, make sure you sign our petition in support of strategic recalls!  Click here.  

 

While Promoting Red Flag Bill, Denver Post Gets Their Suicide By Firearm Facts Grossly Wrong

On Monday Feb 25th, journalist Anna Staver over at the Denver Post released an articled titled “What Colorado can learn from “red flag” gun laws in other states as lawmakers debate passing their own version”.  This article discusses how the opposition and support for Colorado’s proposed “Red Flag” Emergency Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) bill varies, as well as goes into some detail about the effects of this law on other states.

The bill being considered in Colorado, HB19-1177, passed the State House Judiciary Committee last Thursday after nearly ten hours of testimony for and against it.  The opposing sides continued to testify well into the night, with dozens of gun rights activists being called well after they had left.  Had they all stayed, testimony undoubtedly would have continued into the early morning hours.  The bill will be heard in the House Appropriations Committee this week where no public testimony will be taken, and it is expected to pass.  It could see a vote of the full House Chamber as early as next week.

Proponents of this bill are arguing it as a “suicide prevention measure”, as threat to harm self is one of the reasons for firearms confiscation allowed in the bill.  Never mind the chilling unintended consequences this law would have on those who are feeling suicidal – such as fear of reaching out for help, and escalating an already distressing situation.  But the suicide facts Ms. Staver used in her article are wrong on their face.  Here’s what her article says about suicide:

Suicide prevention

Suicide is the leading type of gun death in the United States, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. And supporters of Colorado’s extreme risk protection order bill claim it would prevent some of those deaths from happening in the Centennial State.

“What we are doing with this bill is giving law enforcement a tool that they need to save lives,” said Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial. “The majority of the time it’s going to be someone who is going to do harm to themselves.”

The data supports Sullivan’s assertion that if Colorado allows extreme risk protection orders, the majority of cases will involve suicidal ideation. About 80 percent of the gun seizures in Indiana and 60 percent in Connecticut arose from concerns about suicide.

But did removing those guns prevent violent self-harm?

Aaron Kivisto, a professor of clinical psychology at the University of Indianapolis who studied suicide rates in both states, said the answer is yes in Indiana and no in Connecticut.

Kivisto found a 7.5 percent reduction in suicides via gun in the decade following the enactment of Indiana’s law and a 13.7 percent reduction in Connecticut in the “post-Virginia Tech period, when enforcement of the law substantially increased.”

But he found something else in Connecticut: An uptick in non-firearm suicides meant the overall suicide rate was essentially unchanged.

He said he doesn’t know why the two states got two different results, but one possible explanation is the cultural differences between them.

“Taking the gun isn’t the end of the situation. It doesn’t reduce the crisis,” Kivisto said. “It leaves someone in a crisis without a gun.”

Rally for our Rights supporter and gun rights activist, Mario Acevedo of Denver, thought the Indiana numbers didn’t seem accurate.  So he did his own research.  He found that not only were Ms. Staver’s numbers inaccurate, but they were wrong on the white paper she referenced.

Suicide Rates Red Flag ERPO Colorado Rally for our Rights

Here’s the letter Mario sent to Ms. Staver and the Denver Post.  I repeated the same research Mario had done on the CDC’s website and came up with exactly the same numbers he did.  Indiana has one of the fastest increasing rates of suicide in the nation.

Anna Staver
[email protected]

February 25, 2018

Anna,

In your article “Colorado can learn “red flag” lessons from red states,” you mentioned that professor Aaron Kivisto found that Indiana saw a 7.5 percent reduction in gun suicides following the 2005 adoption of their “red lag” gun confiscation law. That sounded off to me since Indiana is a state hit hard by the opioid epidemic and suicides are an unfortunate consequence of such drug abuse. According to the Centers for Disease Control:

In 2005, Indiana had 416 gun suicides, 745 total suicides, and 11.82 suicides per 100K population Age Adjusted Rate.

In 2017, Indiana had 604 gun suicides, 1092 total suicides, and 16.36 suicides per 100K population Age Adjusted Rate.

I don’t know what numbers or methodology Kivisto was using but his findings appear to be completely bogus. You are more than welcome to confirm my numbers at the CDC WISQARS Fatal Injury Reports.

My issue with red flag laws is that there’s a lot of hand waving over the results that cause me to question the purpose of such law. Effective policy, in this case to reduce fatal self-harm, must be based on reality and facts, not simply good intentions or wishes.

Sincerely,

Mario Acevedo
Denver, Colorado

Think they’ll bother to do the research themselves and correct this glaring inaccuracy?  We really shouldn’t have to fact check the fact checkers.  

Mario also contacted the author of the white paper, Aaron Kivisto.  Mr. Kivisto did respond!  But his response gave us a big WTF?  Basically they decided the rate of suicide has decreased because it’s lower than what the projected rates were had the bill not passed.  Do these people have a crystal ball?

Mr. Acevedo,

Thanks for your email. You’re absolutely right that in absolute terms suicides have increased. Our study approached the issue not in terms of absolute reductions, however, but in terms of reductions from the number of suicides that would have been expected in each state had the lot not been passed. In other words, our statistical approach utilized a technique known as the synthetic control methodology. It’s an approach developed by MIT economists to study the effects of policy changes and is currently considered among the most robust methods available to study the impact of policy change. In short, the approach provides a counterfactual – that is, an estimate of what the suicide rate would have been in Indiana had they not enacted the law, as well as in Connecticut had they not enacted the law. These estimates are compared to observed rates, and reductions represent the difference between these estimated and observed values.

The apparent contradiction you were noticing comes from the fact that suicide rates can indeed rise, but not rise at as rapid arete as would be expected. Similarly, there could be an absolute reduction in suicide rates, but a reduction not as fast as would be expected, which would be interpreted as a problematic impact.

I hope that this is helpful.

Aaron Kivisto, Ph.D., HSPP

We here at Rally for our Rights certainly don’t take suicide lightly.  In fact, many of us including myself and Mario have lost loved ones to suicide.  It’s an issue near and dear to our hearts.  Which likely makes this even more infuriating.  Suicide is a serious problem in society and manipulating stats to pass bad legislation is despicable.

Watch this testimony given by 19 year gun rights activist, Haley Marcantonio, during the Red Flag ERPO hearing last week.  What she doesn’t mention in her testimony is her family has been personally touched by suicide, as many of ours have.  The anti-gun community does not get a monopoly on suicide.  This issue has touched millions deeply.

 

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.

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

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