A Disservice To Suicidal Individuals: CO’s Red Flag ERPO Law Will Only Exacerbate A Crisis

A Disservice To Suicidal Individuals: CO's Red Flag ERPO Laws Will Only Exacerbate A Crisis

“Red Flag” Extreme Risk Protection Order ERPO laws are picking up steam across the nation.  Some states have had them in place for many years, such as Connecticut who implemented theirs in 1999, or Indiana who crafted their law in 2005, and California jumped on the bandwagon in 2014.  I’ve written about how ineffective they have been in those states. But the past two years, other states are quickly following suit, including Colorado who passed one of the most egregious laws this past spring.  It will go into effect January 1, 2020.

Across the county, these laws are being touted as “suicide prevention” by anti-gun groups such as Everytown For Gun Safety and their grassroots arm, Moms Demand Action. Now, these groups have been known to tell half truths, mislead, and fear monger, but their claim that Colorado’s Red Flag law will reduce suicide is one of the most upsetting lies I have heard them tell.  That’s because suicide is very near and dear to my heart.  My sister committed suicide 4 1/2 years ago.

A Disservice To Suicidal Individuals: CO's Red Flag ERPO Laws Will Only Exacerbate A CrisisMy sister was my best friend.  She lived one town over, she was the mother to three, and our oldest daughters were born 5 weeks apart.  Her suicide rocked my world, and I still shed tears when I think about it.  I have her name with a semi-colon tattooed on my arm, my only tattoo.  I will never forget the night my mother and my sister came to my home to tell me she was gone, knowing I’d take it harder than anyone else. At first I was in denial as I insisted that she must just be in the hospital, and I needed to get to her. Once past denial, I needed to know where her body was. I got on the phone and desperately started calling people until I connected with the coroner.  Her body was in the morgue at a local hospital.  I so desperately wanted to be with it. I couldn’t imagine my sister alone in a cold morgue, awaiting autopsy. The next morning was when reality struck. The physical pain I felt in my heart when I awoke was something I had never experienced before and haven’t experience since. Watching her children mourn was heartwrenching. For them everything changed the day she made the choice to take her life.  The trajectory of their lives took a sharp, ugly turn.  I would do anything to be able to go back and help her that day. But I can’t.

A Disservice To Suicidal Individuals: CO's Red Flag ERPO Laws Will Only Exacerbate A CrisisMy sister didn’t use a firearm to take her life, although she was a gun rights supporting liberal.  She used a bottle of pain pills that had been prescribed to her by her doctor.

The claims that Colorado’s “Red Flag” ERPO law will help those in a suicidal crisis is disingenuous at best and dangerous at worst.  You see, Colorado’s law has no mental health component to it.  In fact, Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams has testified to that many times, pointing out that the legislation asks law enforcement to enter the home of a suicidal individual who owns firearms (forcibly if necessary), confiscate those firearms, and leave both the person in crisis and many other tools to follow through with the act of taking their own life.

This is not compassion. This is not empathetic.  This is cruel.

There is also strong evidence that when responding to one of these suicidal ERPO’s, law enforcement will arrive with a SWAT team, not only exacerbating the crisis, but escalating it to the point of no return.  Early this year, one of our supporters, Ralph Shnelvar, took his own life.  He was going through a rough separation and his wife had reported to the police that he was suicidal and had a firearm.  Ralph sent worrisome emails to his close friends, who immediately went to his residence to try to offer help.  When they arrived, what they found instead was a large police presence and SWAT officers who spent several hours outside the home trying to get Ralph to come out of the residence.  Friends and family were blocked from talking to him. Eventually two police robots were sent inside the home where they found Ralph dead.  No one can tell me that SWAT did not exacerbate that entire situation, possibly causing and/or expediting the ultimate tragic death.

One of Ralph’s friends testified about this situation in front of a State Senate Committee during the “Red Flag” debate in March. Watch that video below.

This is what Colorado’s “Red Flag” law will look like.  SWAT teams going after those who are in crisis, or those who are innocent, another danger we’re facing as the legislation is so poorly written.  Here in Colorado a Tinder date turned stalker can petition the courts over the phone free of charge to have someone’s guns confiscated, and the judge who determines if they should do it, will base it off the lowest evidentiary threshold, a preponderance, meaning there only needs to be a 51% chance the accusations are true. Preponderance only requires more evidence than counter evidence, so given that the respondent is not able to respond until after the seizure of the guns no one will ever lose on that standard.

Let’s also talk about the fear these Red Flag laws will create for gun owners, especially veterans.  If we fear that reaching out for help will result in SWAT showing up at our house, those who need help will will stay silent, again only increasing suicides, instead of reducing them. We cannot stigmatize asking for help, just as we cannot stigmatize being a gun owner.

What can we do?

Gun owners are compassionate and caring, it’s often why they choose to train and carry in the first place.  Because they love their communities.  So we should be asking the question what can WE do? Unfortunately there are not a ton of gun owner specific suicide resources, which is unfortunate because it’s desperately needed.  But if you are a firearm owner and are suicidal – or someone else in your home is suicidal – there are options.  Hold My Guns is a private group who is working to partner with FFL’s and police departments to offer a place people can store firearms during a crisis.  There are also multiple suicide prevention hotlines. And recently CU Anschutz unveiled an interactive map that shows out-of-home gun storage facilities for this exact reason.  WTTA.org also offers non-crisis support to gun owners.

And then there are the crisis lines:

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline: Call 1-800-273-8255, or chat online
Veterans Crisis Line:  Call 1-800-273-8255 and press 1, text 838255, or chat online
Have other resources I should add?  Drop them in comments.  And please know, you can always reach out to your friends at Rally for our Rights, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.  We’re here for you.  Contact us here

 

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Gun Memorial Website Honors Dayton, OH Mass Shooter As Gun Violence Victim

Gun Memorial Website Honors Dayton, OH Mass Shooter As Gun Violence Victim Connor Betts

I’ve written about this disturbing “Gun Violence Memorial” website before.  A website that claims to be about honoring victims of gun violence, keeping daily stats, and allowing people to light candles for lost loved ones.  On the surface it sounds genuine, until you start digging deeper and realize they also “honor” perpetrators who are killed justifiably, whether by their victims or by law enforcement.  This website gets their information from the “Gun Violence Archive” another website which on the surface sounds honest, but again, they also count perpetrators as gun violence victims to pump up their numbers. Did you hear the recent mass shooting number for 2019 as 251?  Yeah, they got that from them.  We’ve debunked the Gun Violence Archive’s mass shooting numbers before (and I’ll be doing it again soon).  Click here to read more on that.

It should have come as no surprise to me that one of the latest “gun violence victims” listed on the Gun Memorial site is 24 year old Connor Betts, the mass murderer who killed 9 and injured 27 when he opened fire at popular nightlife area of Dayton, OH this past weekend.  Betts was killed within minutes by police – with a firearm – and because the officer used a firearm, Betts is now another stat, another “gun violence” victim that the anti-gun left is using to push their agenda.  This particular scenario is especially disgusting as they are also using the real victims as well to push for all sorts of gun control, including dangerous “Red Flag” Extreme Risk Protection Order laws.  

Gun Memorial Website Honors Dayton, OH Mass Shooter As Gun Violence Victim Connor Betts

But honestly, it did come as a surprise to even me that this anti-gun group is so hell bent on twisting their numbers to fit their narrative that they would memorialize this particular evil perpetrator.  At the time of this writing, three people have already lit a candle for Betts.  And I must ask the question: does memorializing mass shooters lead to more mass shooters?  

The Denver Westword often uses this same website to validate their stories about gun ownership and/or violence.  And they should be ashamed.

I wrote last year about the memorializing of a 60 year old man who was killed in self defense by a 23 year old woman while he was bashing her head into the guardrail during a Washington road rage incident.  In that instance, eventually the push back to the “Gun Memorial” site was so massive they removed him.  Good.  They should remove Connor Betts too.  In fact, they should remove anyone who was justifiably killed by firearm.  Guns also save lives.  They did for that young woman in Washington, and they did this past weekend in Dayton, OH.

Why “Red Flag” ERPO Laws Are Not The Solution To Mass Shootings

Are "Red Flag" ERPO Laws The Solution To Mass Shootings?

After every public mass shooting, the call for gun control reaches a new pitch.  Those on the anti-gun left have gone so far as suggesting banning nearly every modern day semi-automatic firearm and having police go door to door confiscating them.  And those on the right are calling for “Red Flag” Extreme Risk Protection Order laws in every state.

But is this really the answer?  The suggestion of a door to door gun confiscation would be laughable if these people were joking- but they aren’t.  How any politician believes using what they refer to as “weapons of war” to confiscate “weapons of war” will not turn into a war, is beyond me.  Even the anti-gun, Bloomberg funded website “The Trace” admits there are at bare minimum 20 million civilian owned, modern day sporting rifles in the US, and nearly all of them have never been used to commit a crime.

So what about “Red Flag” laws?  Let’s take a quick look at Red Flag laws and what they do…

“Red Flag” laws are also called ERPO’s or Extreme Risk Protection Orders, a term coined by the anti-gun movement to deter from the negative reputation that came with “Red Flag” legislation.  Don’t be fooled though, they are the exact same thing.  Red Flag laws have actually been around since 1999, although they are quickly rising in popularity.  In fact, Connecticut had a Red Flag law in place when the Sandy Hook shooting happened and California had one in place at the time of the San Bernardino attack, the Thousands Oaks shooting, and the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting.

The proponents and mainstream media will tell you Red Flag ERPO laws allow family or law enforcement to petition the court to have the firearms removed from someone who is proven to be a danger to themselves or others.

To the general public, this sounds pretty benign, and polling reflects that when the law is presented this way.

But what if I phrased it this way: It’s a law that allows an abusive ex to petition the court, over the phone, for $0, to have the firearms confiscated from an individual they wish to disarm.  The petition is granted based on the lowest evidentiary threshold used in court, a preponderance of evidence (meaning there is a 51% chance that the accusation is true) and when the temporary order is issued by the court, it is coupled with a search warrant.  This means the first time the accused even finds out these proceedings are taking place is when the police are at their door ready to raid their home prepared to take away their means of self defense against the same abusive ex who requested the ERPO – and possibly the means of defense for their children.

Because that is exactly what these laws do.  It is legalized swatting that can be done by a laundry list of family members, former and current roommates, and anyone you have ever been intimate with.  Don’t believe me?  Read through the 30+ pages of HB19-1177 “Red Flag” Extreme Risk Protection Orders that was just signed by the governor here in Colorado.

There is a big difference between supporting the concept of a Red Flag law, and supporting the actual legislation that is being passed. The devil is always in the details.

But do they work?

Well, we already pointed out above three mass shooting in California with one of the broadest Red Flag laws (right behind Colorado’s), as well as Sandy Hook in Connecticut.  So, no, they didn’t work to stop killers in those instances and there is zero evidence they have thwarted any attacks elsewhere.

But what about suicide? Proponents will of course tell you yes, they work.  States like Indiana pointed to stats showing suicide by firearm was decreasing.  Well, turns out it wasn’t.  It was still increasing but not at the projected rate, so they consider that a win.  In addition, suicide by other methods has skyrocketed and Indiana has dropped from 19th in the country for mental health in 2011, to 45th in 2015, and in both 2016 and 2017 suicide was the tenth leading cause of death for all residents over all demographics, and the leading cause for certain demographics.  Their Red Flag law was enacted in 2005.

Why are we seeing these results?  Because these laws have nothing to do with mental health, and everything to do with taking away the guns.  The bill sponsors here in Colorado even admitted that during the month long debate before the bill passed by ONE SINGLE vote with every Republican and three Democrats voting against it.  Watch the video here:

These laws are widely opposed by law enforcement, as they realize the danger they will put their officers and citizens in, as well as the unconstitutionality of the law.  In Colorado, more than 50 of the 64 sheriffs opposed the legislation, as did the Denver and Aurora police unions.  The ACLU has opposed legislation in other states such as Rhode Island.  And people have been killed having these Red Flag orders served, such as happened in Maryland when a woman ERPO’d her brother after a family dispute. She later admitted she did not believe he would have hurt a fly, but he was killed when he refused to turn over his guns. Trading death for death is never the answer. The lives of gun owners do not matter less than the lives of anyone else.

We should also always remember in the “do something” era, passing feel good, knee jerk, virtue signaling legislation is a waste of valuable time and resources that could be used to actually DO SOMETHING, for example Maine passed a completely different proper adjudication law to address the same issue.  You can learn about that by listening to this podcast here.

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Recalls, Recalls, Recalls! What You Need To Know

After one of the most hyper-partisan elections Colorado has ever witnessed, the 2019 legislative session was one for the history books.  With Governor Jared Polis signing into law 456 new pieces of legislation, including HB19-1177 “Red Flag” Extreme Risk Protection Orders, citizens of the state were left stunned by what had transpired.  And they’re doing something about it through several recalls that are in the works.

Here’s what you need to know about them:

Recall Governor Jared Polis

The Recall Polis campaign is a mighty feat, and if you were paying attention on social media when it launched, you know it got off to a rocky start with three recall groups struggling to work together.  Although the dust has settled on the latter issue, the recall is still a huge task. That said, I’ve been impressed with the pure energy and grassroots effort that it has become.  In all corners of the state and along the front range, hundreds of volunteers are setting up signing locations and dedicating their summer to get this done.  They will need to collect 631,000 valid signatures by September 7th for the recall to move forward.  If they succeed, a special election will take place in which voters will be asked if they want to recall the governor; and a second question asking if the governor is recalled, who they would want to replace him.  I’ve heard very little about possible candidates, so I suppose we’ll cross that bridge if we get there.

The initial conflict of the Recall Polis campaigns had some people believing the petitions were fake or that if they signed it, they would lose their opportunity to sign the “real” petition.  I have no opinions about the groups involved, but what I do know is the petition being circulated is legit and is the only Recall Polis petition available.  The group has said if they do not collect enough signatures in the time allotted they will not turn them in, which means any other group could start another recall and anyone who already signed would be able to sign again.

There are hundreds of signing locations available daily all over the state.  To find signing locations click here.

Recall State Senator Pete Lee

State Senator Pete Lee also has an active recall. Lee sits in El Paso county’s SD-11 which encompasses Central and West Colorado Springs, Down Town, The Older part of Colorado Springs By Colorado College, Manitou Springs, Old Colorado City and more. This is also the same seat State Senator John Morse was recalled from in 2013 after he supported a package of gun control bills.  Senator Pete Lee was a strong proponent of HB19-1177 “Red Flag” ERPO during the 2019 legislative session, even after the local newspaper encouraged him to vote with his constituents and not his party. It’s a little more difficult to find recall signing locations for Lee, but more information and a contact form can be found here.  I’ve also been told petitions are available at Specialty Sports & Supply (4285 E Fountain Blvd, Colorado Springs, CO 80916) from 3 – 5pm M-F, or Western Insurance Solutions (4740 Flintridge Dr, Colorado Springs, CO 80918) from 9am – 5pm M-F.

Recall State Senator Brittany Pettersen

State Senator Brittany Pettersen was not only a supporter of Colorado’s “Red Flag” legislation, she sponsored it.  And now there is an active recall against her.  She sits in SD22, which encompasses part of Jefferson County. The number of times she mocked the concerns of gun owners was simply shocking – even abused women who spoke of their fear an abuser could legally disarm them through the red flag law.  She is quoted as saying “This bill is not about mental health, it is about taking away guns.”  Finding information about the signing locations for her recall has proven to be difficult, as most petitioners are going door to door.  If you are in her district and want to sign or carry a petition, I’d suggest using the contact form on this webpage.

Recall Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock

Republican Sheriff of Douglas County, Tony Spurlock, led the path for HB19-1177 “Red Flag” ERPO.  The bill is named after a deputy of his, Zackari Parrish, who died in the line of duty.  The bill is supposed to prevent situations like the one Deputy Parrish walked into from happening, but instead it created a disaster that will not only put law enforcement in harms way, but citizens too.  Sheriff Tony Spurlock helped pass a law that was opposed by over 50 of Colorado’s 64 sheriffs along with the Denver and Aurora Police Unions because they know how dangerous it is to those in the line of duty.  The law is grossly unconstitutional, violating multiple rights of citizens.  And Spurlock worked hand in hand with Moms Demand Action, Bloomberg’s well funded astroturf arm of Everytown for Gun Safety, to pass it into law.  Spurlock needs to go.  A well organized effort is underway to recall him with petitions expected to drop by September.  Organizers are asking those anxious to sign to be patient, as they have a plan – and they do.  If you are in DougCo and want to sign a petition, you can pre-register here.  You can also sign up to volunteer and/or make a donation at www.recallspurlock.org.  Follow the effort on Facebook here.

What is a valid signature?

A valid signature is from a Colorado voter who is registered to vote in the district of the recall, or for the Recall Polis any Colorado resident who is registered to vote in the state.  When signing, their name, address, and signature must match that of their voter registration.  It is important that nicknames aren’t used, and that if the voter has moved recently, they use the address where they are registered to vote on the date they are signing.  If they have recently moved to the recall district, they will need to update their voter registration with their new address before signing the petition.

CLICK HERE to check your voter registration and/or make changes.
CLICK HERE to register to vote.

Everyone has differing opinions on recalls.  My opinion is simple. If you support the effort, sign the petition.  If you don’t support it, don’t sign it.  

STEM School Demands $4,210 For CORA Requested Emails With Moms Demand Action & Brady Campaign

In Colorado we’re fortunate to have the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) law.  This allows citizens such as myself to request to see communications by almost any government entity.  There are specific laws surrounding how CORAs work, how long government entities can take to return the requested communications, and how much they can charge you.  Obviously, the more data you request, the longer it will take and the higher the cost.

On Tuesday, May 7th, two mentally disturbed students of STEM School Highlands Ranch broke into one of their parents gun safes with an ax and a crow bar, placed the stolen guns in a guitar case, attempted to burn the house down, and went to the high school where they walked inside and opened fire in two separate areas.  Both students were taken down, one of them by a security guard, the other by a student named Kendrick Castillo.  Kendrick was a role model of a citizen who lost his life defending the lives of his friends and classmates that day.  And as usual, the gun grabbers and heartless politicians didn’t bat an eye – instead they went right into campaign mode.  A “vigil” for Kendrick was planned and thousands from the community attended.  What those in attendance did not know was that this vigil was actually planned by two organizations: Brady Campaign and Moms Demand Action. For a solid 40 minutes, attendees patiently watched as politician after politician took to the podium to lecture the crowd about gun control.  Gun control advocates, such as Laura Reeves with Moms Demand Action Colorado brazenly used the tragedy to push the organizations agenda of disarming citizens. It wasn’t until the president of the Douglas County Teacher’s Union, Kallie Leyba took to lecturing the crowd that it became apparent that not one single student or teacher from STEM School had been invited to speak.  That’s when all hell broke loose as students began to yell “Let the students speak!” eventually walking out while chanting “Mental health! Mental health!”.  Even the anti-gun website The Daily Beast covered the story exposing it for what it was: a political stunt.

Well, in light of this gross abuse of power by the Brady Campaign, Moms Demand Action and some school staff, a watchdog group of out Illinois decided to file a CORA request.  It was a simple request: They asked for the communications between Brady Campaign and any school officials, as well as Moms Demand Action and any school officials, that took place on May 7 and May 8.  

The response was telling, to say the least. The school is claiming this simple request, which other government entities do all the time for us here at Rally for our Rights in less than an hour, will take 7 hours of school staff time at $30/hr and 26 hours of legal counsel time at $155/hr, for total cost to the requester of at least $4,210. 

But according to Colorado law, they can’t do charge more than $30/hr for legal counsel.  Source: https://www.colorado.gov/pacific/dora/open-records-cora-requests

 

 

Here is the letter from STEM School Highlands Ranch in response to these CORA requests.

 

STEM School Hides Information After Shooting STEM School Hides Information After Shooting

 

Pueblo, CO City Council SHUTS DOWN Public Comment On SECOND AMENDMENT SANCTUARY Resolution

pueblo city council denies attendees to speak on second amendment rally for our rights

In March, during the heart of the “Red Flag” ERPO debate, Pueblo City Council Member Mark Aliff announced he would be presenting a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution at the March 25th regularly scheduled council meeting.  This was on the heels of over half the counties in Colorado adopting similar resolutions, as well as many municipalities, in response to a poorly written and downright dangerous piece of legislation Democrats in the Colorado legislature were considering – HB19-1177 “Red Flag” Emergency Risk Protection Orders ERPOs.  This bill did pass by one vote with all Republicans and three Pueblo Democrats voting against it. It is awaiting the governor’s signature.

I attended the Pueblo City Council Meeting with friends from Pueblo, and I witnessed first hand a gross abuse of power via manipulation of standard protocol, effectively silencing those who were there to speak on the resolution.  It was blatantly obvious this was planned prior to the meeting and I have submitted a Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) request with the city to find exactly what went down.

Here’s a synopsis of how the meeting went:

• The announcement of the resolution came approx one week prior to the meeting.  Communication with the council member presenting the resolution told us comment on the resolution would be taken during general public comment at the beginning of the meeting.  This is standard for anything unless it is a specific hearing on an ordinance, as is outlined in council rules.

• Upon arrival, it was discovered public comment on this topic only was moved to later in the meeting when the resolution would be be discussed.  A separate sign up was used for this one topic, and anyone who had signed up for public comment on this topic was reserved to include with the others.

• In the past if public comment was to be taken at the time the resolution is presented, that comment is given PRIOR to the motion being moved.  In this case, they moved the motion first, then asked for a second, which didn’t come and the council president found that as terms for denial of the resolution that no one had been allowed to speak to!  This is unbelievable, as the job of city council is to act on behalf of the citizens. If they do not even allow citizens to speak, they cannot and do not represent them.

• Many people in attendance were angry.  Everyone left the room where local media interviewed people from both sides of the issue.  After attendees left, the council continued to discuss what had just happened, with the main discussion participants being the city attorney, council president Dennis Flores, and the council member who put forth the resolution, Mark Aliff.

Watch the video for yourself to see how despicable these antics were, then scroll down to learn what you can do.

Here’s what you can do:

Attend the next city council meeting and sign up to speak during public comment.  Let them know EXACTLY what you think of this power move.

Monday, April 8th, 7:00pm
1 City Hall Place
3rd Floor
Pueblo, CO 81003

Contact all city council members by email and phone.

Bob Schilling
719-250-4520
[email protected]

Larry Antencio
719-248-9141
[email protected]

Ed Brown
719-671-7450
[email protected]

Ray Aguilera
719-415-0400
[email protected]

Dennis Flores
719-406-9852
[email protected]

Chris Nicol
719-924-5449
[email protected]

No time to contact them all individually?  Copy/paste this email list and send your email to them all!

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

Get connected with Rally for our Rights on social media and donate to help keep up going and growing.

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

(red counties have passed resolutions, yellow counties sheriffs oppose but county has not taken action, gray counties sheriffs support, white is unknown)

UPDATED July 13th, 2019

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, both the Denver and Aurora Police Unions expressed their opposition in a press release.

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:

Garfield County: Passed Resolution April 8, 2019
Las Animas County: Passed Resolution April 3, 2019
Phillips County: Passed Resolution April 3, 2019
Morgan County: Issued Statement April 3, 2019
Bent County: Passed Resolution March 27, 2019
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: Passed resolution March 27, 2019
Silver Cliff, CO: Passed resolution April 1, 2019
Lamar, CO: Set to pass resolution
Greeley, CO: Considering

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

The following counties are considering implementing similar resolutions or their sheriff is in opposition:

Adams County

Adams County Sheriff Rick Reigenborn stated on Facebook that he has not been up to speed on the Red Flag Bill, but upon further review he agrees Sheriff Reams brings up a lot of important issues, and as written, he opposes the bill as well.  He believes there are many flaws.

Eagle County

In Eagle County the sheriff came out the day the governor signed the bill with a very thorough analysis of why he is now in opposition of the legislation as written.  That can be found here.

Routt County

The Routt County sheriff has publicly stated that he supports the concept of a Red Flag Law, but finds HB19-1177 deeply flawed with many potential problems.

Ouray County

The Ouray county sheriff is against the bill.

Saguache County

In Saguache county, the sheriff has asked the citizens to contact their county commissioners requesting they pass a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution.

Grand County

Grand  County Sheriff is in direct opposition of Colorado’s Red Flag law, calling it unconsituational, and the county commissioners echo his concerns.  They are determining what to do next.

Yuma County

Yuma County Sheriff T.C. Combs is working with the Yuma County Commissioners to pass a resolution making their county a Second Amendment Sanctuary.  They are currently awaiting legal advice before moving to the final vote.  All three county commissioners support the resolution.

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. The commissioners side stepped the issue at their recent meeting and moved the issue to a public forum.

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.

 

Two Colorado Counties Declared Gun Rights Sanctuaries As Red Flag Bill Looms

COLORADO'S FREMONT & MONTEZUMA COUNTIES DECLARED GUN RIGHTS SANCTUARIES! Rally for our Rights

Early Tuesday February 26th, two separate Colorado counties voted to declare themselves Second Amendment Sanctuary counties.  Both Fremont and Montezuma counties held their regular Board of County Commissioners meetings and either passed or started the process to pass resolutions stating if Colorado’s HB19-1177: Emergency Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) is passed into law, they will not enforce it.

HB19-1177, which is Colorado’s proposed Red Flag gun control legislation passed the House Judiciary Committee last Thursday after nearly ten hours of testimony for and against.  Dozens of those wishing to testify in opposition to the bill had already left when they were called up to testify at 9 and 10 o’clock at night.  Many of those who were not able to speak had been there since noon.

In Fremont County, Chairman Dwayne McFall led the initiative in direct response to HB19-1177, which he says violates multiple Constitutional amendments.

In Montezuma County, more than 100 people attended and many shared their comments about the Red Flag legislation being considered.  The Board of County Commissioners were said to be transparent and shared a copy of the resolution with those in attendance indicating the county’s position against a Red Flag ERPO law, calling it a dangerous infringement on the Second Amendment and civil liberties.  Montezuma County Sheriff, Steve Nowlin, was also in attendance and supported the resolution.  The final draft of this resolution will be discussed in a Special Meeting on Thursday, February 28th at 6:30 p.m. The public is invited. 

Many other sheriffs in Colorado — including El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder, Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams, Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell, and Fremont County Sheriff Allen Cooper — say they don’t approve of the bill as written because they believe it infringes on citizens’ rights to due process. Even Democrat Sheriff out of Pueblo County, Kirk Taylor, says he doesn’t believe there are adequate due process protections for gun owners in this year’s version of the bill.

Colorado’s proposed “Red Flag” legislation is one of the worst the U.S. has ever seen. 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.

I attended the hearing last week to testify in opposition to this bill.  I arrived at noon and was the very last person to be called to testify – nearly ten hours later.  After listening to testimony all day, I decided rather than once again testify to how unconstitutional the bill is or how it lacks due process, I’d instead testify to my own experience having the legal and judicial system used against me as an act of harassment during a 22 months custody battle.

Watch my testimony in the video below:

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CLICK HERE TO SIGN PETITION.

A Pro-Gun Minority Calls Out Tom’s and Gifford’s On Their Gun Safety Town Hall Agenda

Tom's Giffords Town Hall Denver Rally For Our Rights Colorado
On Saturday January 26, I attended the Gun Safety Town Hall held in the Washington Street Community Center of Denver. I’ll admit I approached with trepidation, into the belly as it were.

The anti-gun lobby is flush with cash and it shows. They can hire expert IT types to exploit social media and develop catchy websites, and they can afford big vehicles with custom paint jobs. My RSVP invitation was seamlessly handled through Eventbrite.

To enter the venue, I had to pass through unarmed security using wand metal detectors. Inside I couldn’t tell who were event sponsors or volunteers because they all wore identical flashy badges. Video cameras flanked the stage, complete with a big banner. About a hundred and fifty or so from the public filed in to occupy the rows of folding chairs arranged in the main meeting room. The crowd included the usual suspects: a few middle-aged women in MDA or Cease Fire Colorado t-shirts. One man wore a Parkland High School t-shirt, although I never found out if he hailed from there or wore it out of solidarity.

The event was moderated by a rep from the Giffords: Courage to Fight Gun Violence, who shared the dais with an anti-gun writer from New York City, someone from Tom’s Shoes (who was footing the bill, pun intended), Congressman Joe Neguse from Colorado, and Tom Mauser. The town hall began with the speakers discussing mass shooting to include the usual hate speech against the NRA.

The actual point of the town hall was to drum up support for HR 8, the new bill for expanded background checks, advertised as needed to close the infamous gun-show loophole, because as you all know, as we were told, any Colorado resident can simply drive to New Mexico or Wyoming and buy a gun, no questions asked. Ignoring of course that such an act is already a violation of federal law.

The town hall was scheduled to last an hour and at the halfway point, the public was invited to approach a microphone and share. One young woman said she was a Parkland survivor. A couple of older speakers expressed their gratitude for the campaign’s effort to end gun violence. A young man said he was from New Hampshire and rambled on about that state’s proliferation of guns, but I couldn’t tell if he was anti- or pro-gun.

Finally it was my turn. My question was that since both the DOJ and the FBI have established a direct correlation between drug trafficking and gun violence, how come the Giffords campaign, or MDA, or Everytown for Gun Safety, or any of the prevent-gun-violence groups do not once mention drug trafficking as responsible for gun violence?

I could tell my question blind-sided them. The only one who answered was the woman from the Giffords campaign, who said that they are focused on gun violence, not drug trafficking. My rebuttal was that even the CDC concludes that the highest risk factor for homicides, especially those with guns, is drug trafficking. I stressed that the anti-gun people were ignoring one of the biggest causes of gun violence. Though I went way over my three-minute time limit, the brief back-and-forth exposed a gaping hole in their agenda.

After the meeting, I did attempt to debate HR 8 with the woman from the Giffords campaign, but she wouldn’t let the facts interfere with her talking points. She’s paid big bucks to toe the company line, not acknowledge the truth or promote effective policy that provides for public safety.

Interestingly, on my way out, one of the event’s African-American volunteers, a big man named Stevon, congratulated me for my comments. Before the town hall, he had brought up the same points, which were summarily dismissed.

So what did I learn?

ONE: these public venues are a great opportunity to make our case. Unlike in social media or through the news outlets, the anti-gunners can’t easily delete our comments. They have to respond.

TWO: focus on an issue that exposes the weaknesses of their agenda. What I noted at this town hall but didn’t mention was that they got everyone stirred up over mass shootings, then segued into expanded background checks even though they admitted that these checks wouldn’t stop mass shootings. It was a bait-and-switch that needed to be spot lighted.

THREE: we can’t rant about rights because that gets little traction with this crowd. You have to call them out on their failures to address the big problems stoking gun violence such as drug trafficking, gangs, and incompetent bureaucrats. Use government sources such as the DOJ, FBI, and CDC to back you up.

FOUR: we must actively engage the various communities to make our case. For example, meet with communities of color to explain that since less than one percent of violent criminals get their guns from a gun show, and more than forty percent get their guns through the black market, then why are we wasting time on expanded background checks to close the gun show loophole? Emphasize that when the local government and the police pursue effective programs that address violent crime, as opposed to gun control, then homicides decrease and as a result we get safer communities.

FIVE: meet with our legislators and make our case. Make them explain why they endorse flawed proposals while ignoring effective policy.

Preserving our Second Amendment rights will take work, but we have truth and reality on our side.

Trump Admin Bump Stock Ban: What You Need To Know

Trump admin bans bump stocks Rally for our Rights ColoradoA few months ago I was at a gun rights rally when a news reporter came up to me and asked, “How is it legal for these people to be carrying these machine guns out on the streets?!”  She was referring to the half dozen or so attendees (among hundreds) who were open carrying rifles.  She was pointing in particular to a gentleman with a .22 rifle slung snugly on his chest, and another young woman with her AR-15 slung on her back.  I held back my chuckle, looked her right in the eye, and said: “Ma’am, those may be machines and they may be guns, but they are not machine guns.”  I went on to explain that while by definition any firearm is technically a machine, actual machine guns were regulated under the National Firearms Act.  We then walked around and people eagerly explained the very few differences between the handguns some had, and the rifles others had.  We had a great discussion about what had been banned in Boulder, CO with real life examples – and even she began to grasp the absurdity of it.  Needless to say, we had great media coverage that day.

This conversation came back to me yesterday morning as I learned the Trump administration directed the ATF to finalize an impending “bump stock” ban. What it does is essentially label an arbitrary piece of metal or plastic, that has no automatic functioning mechanical parts, as a “machine gun”.  This ban places bump-stock-type devices under the NFA, a grossly unconstitutional law requiring citizens to pay exorbitant amounts of money, register with the Secretary of Treasury, and jump through dozens of government hoops, to obtain certain firearms.

In the ATF’s amended regulation released yesterday, bump stocks are defined as “devices that allow a semiautomatic firearm to shoot more than one shot with a single pull of a trigger.”  This is interesting because just last year, Michael Curtis, chief of the Firearms Technology Industry Services branch of the ATF, said the product was not prohibited “since the device does not initiate an automatic firing cycle by a single function of the trigger [and therefore] it is not a machine gun under the NFA.”  

Under the new ban those in possession of bump-stock-type devices must turn them in to an ATF field office or destroy them by March 21st, 2019.

Trump admin bans bump stocks Rally for our Rights Colorado

Many people may believe bump stocks are simply a fun accessories for gun enthusiasts, but what they are missing is that bump stocks were originally created to help those with limited mobility in their hands.  A friend of mine has testified on this premise, stating: “Regardless of the opinions of others, I as a disabled person should be able to determine which tools are best for me in my pursuit of recreational, legal shooting sports. It is sickening to me how many people either do not know about bump fire stocks helping disabled people, or who try to minimize or pretend that there is no debate, and that civilians should not have access to them.”

Bump fire action can also be replicated with a rubber band, a belt loop, or even your finger (if you know what you’re doing).  Will we next regulate rubber bands as machine guns?  Because that’s how absurd this new law is.

Make no mistake, this ban does not come without justified legal challenges.  Immediately after Tuesday morning’s announcement, attorneys for an owner of a “bump-stock” device and three constitutional rights advocacy organizations filed a federal lawsuit against the Trump Administration.  The suit comes with multiple arguments.  First, they are challenging Matthew Whitaker’s legal authority to serve as Acting Attorney General and issue rules without being nominated to the role and confirmed by the Senate.  Second, they are challenging the confiscatory ban on firearm parts. And third they are requesting an immediate temporary injunction to prevent the Trump Administration from implementing and enforcing the new regulation.  Click here to learn more about the legal action and how you can help.

There are many people, even in the gun rights community, arguing that this is simply throwing a bone to the gun grabbers in an effort to quiet them.  This attitude is completely wrong.  It not only doesn’t appease the anti-gun community, it motivates them.  Just yesterday, Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action, says to her it signals a new openness on the part of the administration to continue to tighten firearms regulations.

The “bump stock” ban is an assault on the Constitution and law abiding gun owners, but it’s also an assault on the uninformed general populace who have been led to believe it will do ANYTHING beyond create a false sense of security.

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