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 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: