Red Flag Law Now In Effect In Colorado, Here’s What You Need To Know

Red Flag Resource Center Colorado ERPO Extreme Risk Protection Order
On January 1, 2020 Colorado’s Red Flag Extreme Risk Protection Orders ERPO law officially went into effect.  This means Red Flag ERPO petitions will start making their way into the courts and orders will be coming out, landing in the hands of law enforcement who will then be responsible for serving them and confiscating firearmsor not.

There is a lot to learn about this downright dangerous and unconstitutional law.  The Red Flag Resource Center will be your absolute best resource. Bookmark this site. Share it with your friends and family.  This effort is a collaboration between Rally for our Rights, civil rights activists, and legal experts.  It has all the information you could need about the law, what to do if you’re Red Flagged, along with attorney resources.  They will also be tracking ERPO’s and providing transparency to the public.

Here’s what you need to know if you are Red Flagged:

  • These are civil cases, not criminal.  You have not been charged with a crime. The first court hearing has already taken place without you.  This hearing included the petitioner and a judge.  If you are receiving the ERPO order, the judge granted it based on the accusations provided by the petitioner.
  • Law enforcement will come to your home or place of employment to serve the order.
  • The law enforcement agency who will serve the order and seize the firearms will be your local municipal agency if you reside inside city limits, or your sheriffs office if in unincorporated county.
  • They will have a TEMPORARY Red Flag ERPO order.  This order will have a future court date where the ERPO will either be made permanent or will be dismissed.  This court date must be within 14 days of the initial hearing, but it can be less.
  • They may or may not have a search warrant.
  • Law enforcement may assess you for a mental health hold.
  • They may or may not request to take your firearms and/or CCW permit.
  • If they do not have a search warrant, and do not request to take your firearms, they will provide instructions as to how you can surrender them yourself.  Law enforcement agencies are supposed to provide storage but many have said they will not store firearms and/or do not have the space to store firearms.
  • If you do not surrender your firearms, it is a Class 2 misdemeanor.
  • When the temporary order is granted, you are put into the NICS and CBI databases as a prohibited buyer.

Since the introduction of this bill in the state legislature, there has been debate about who can actually file a petition.  The proponents have said it has to be a family member or law enforcement.  We have long stood by our words that the definition of “family member” in the bill language is broad enough to include spouses and ex-spouses, former and current roommates, anyone you’ve dated, grandparents and grandchildren, and so on.  When the court finalized the petition and put it on the Colorado Judicial website, everything we’ve said this whole time was vindicated.  The images below are of the actual petition.  This is all that needs filed.  There is no filing fee.  You can find all the court forms related to ERPO’s here.

If you or someone you know is Red Flagged, the Red Flag Resource Center wants to know. Red Flag Resource Center Colorado ERPO Extreme Risk Protection Order Red Flag Resource Center Colorado ERPO Extreme Risk Protection Order Red Flag Resource Center Colorado ERPO Extreme Risk Protection Order Red Flag Resource Center Colorado ERPO Extreme Risk Protection Order Red Flag Resource Center Colorado ERPO Extreme Risk Protection Order

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If you or someone you know is Red Flagged, the Red Flag Resource Center wants to know. 

 

Here’s How Colorado Red Flag Orders Will Go Down According To Newly Released Best Practices

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

Colorado’s “Red Flag” ERPO law will go into effect January 1, 2020.  Leading up to this, the Colorado Attorney General’s office is responsible for developing law enforcement “best practices” via their POST (Peace Officer Standards and Training) Board.  Those were just released this week and we’ve included the full text below.  It should be noted that Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser admitted during the debate of this legislation that there will be false claims, lack of due process, and collateral damage.

It’s important to note if the person being Red Flagged lives within city limits, it is the responsibility of the CITY police department to do this. If the person is in unincorporated county, it is the responsibility of the COUNTY Sheriff’s Office.  This mean 246 different agencies across Colorado will have to figure out how to abide by these guidelines as well as find firearm storage space for confiscated weapons.

There is a very glaring piece missing from these best practices: what to do if someone refuses to comply.  Some agencies, such as the Weld County Sheriff’s office and the El Paso County Sheriff’s office have already stated they will not take surrendered firearms or provide storage for them, but they will deliver the order so the person being accused can have the due process they deserve – and they wouldn’t have otherwise since the accused doesn’t know they have been Red Flagged until law enforcement is at their door.

Other agencies such as Douglas County Sheriff’s office have stated they will make sure every Red Flag ERPO order is accompanied with a search warrant, no matter who the petitioner is.   Sounds like he’s ready for some legalized SWATTING in the name of his deputy who was killed doing the exact same thing he will soon be asking the rest of his deputies to do on potentially innocent people.

If you’re not familiar with how this law works, click here to read up on it.  It’s downright frightening.

ERPO Model Policy: Acceptance, Storage, and Return of Firearms
CRS 13-14.5-101
Deputy Zackari Parrish III Violence Protection Act

Download the PDF here: ERPO Weapon Seizure Policy

I. Purpose:

To provide direction and guidelines for the proper handling and storage of firearms that are surrendered, or seized as a result of an Extreme Risk Protection Order. This policy will also deal with the proper procedure to follow for the return, or disposal of firearms after resolution of the ERPO has been achieved.

II. Scope:

This policy is available for use to all law enforcement agencies in The State of Colorado.

III. Policy:

Colorado Courts may order, pursuant to CRS 13-405.5-101, the surrender, or seizure of firearms. Officers will comply with all applicable Colorado Revised Statutes in regards to the acceptance, storage, and return of all firearms.

IV. Definitions:

A. Respondent- the person who is the subject of the Extreme Risk Protection Order.

B. Extreme Risk Protection Order- Known in this document also as an ERPO. Either a temporary, or continuing order granted pursuant to CRS 13-14.5-101.

C. Firearm- Any handgun, automatic, revolver, pistol, rifle, shotgun, or other instrument or device capable of discharging bullets, cartridges, or other explosive charges.

D. Antique firearm/Relic- any firearm (including any firearm with a matchlock, flintlock, percussion cap, or similar type of ignition system) manufactured in or before 1898.

E. Federal Firearms Dealer- A Federal Firearms Dealer is a person licensed in the United States, that enables an individual or company engaged in a business pertaining to the manufacture or importation of firearms and ammunition, or the interstate and intrastate sale of firearms.

V. Acceptance of a Firearm:

There are two methods by which you will be in the position to accept weapons based on the issuance of the temporary ERPO. They are by voluntary surrender by the respondent, as directed in the language of the temporary ERPO, or seizure by you, or your agency, during a lawful search pursuant search warrant, plain view search, or consent.

A. Voluntary Firearm surrender – According to orders set by the court in the temporary ERPO, the respondent has 24 hours to surrender all firearm(s) listed in the court order, or in their control or possession. The order will require surrender of the firearm(s) to law enforcement, or a federal firearms dealer for transfer, storage, or sale. They may also be transferred to a family member, if firearm is classified as an antique, or relic.

If the firearms are surrendered to law enforcement, you will give the option to the respondent of where they want the firearm(s) to go. The options allow for a transfer to a federal firearms dealer for storage or sale, or storage with law enforcement. Be advised, this law does not require a federal firearms dealer to accept the firearm, they have the option to refuse. If the respondent indicates no preference, officers will take custody of the firearm for storage at a secure law enforcement facility. If applicable, and set forth in the temporary order, you will also take custody the respondent’s concealed carry permit. You will be required to issue a property receipt accounting for every firearm surrendered to you, and the concealed carry permit, if applicable. You will issue a copy of the inventory of items seized to the respondent prior to termination of the contact. Additionally, you must ensure the original copy of the receipt is filed with the courts, and a copy is retained with your original report. The original receipt for the firearm(s) that have been surrendered must be submitted to the court within 72 hours.

If the firearm in question is an antique, or relic, you may give that firearm to a relative if: the relative does not live with the respondent, and you have verified through a criminal records check, CBI InstaCheck, that the relative is legally allowed to be in possession of a firearm. You must still complete a property receipt for the transfer from storing the firearm until relinquished to the relative. The relative retains a copy of the receipt, the original goes to the court within 72 hours, and a copy submitted with your report.

Once the firearm is in your possession, and proper documentation has been completed, the weapon will be secured, packaged, and stored in accordance with your agency’s existing policies regarding firearm storage, and in accordance with section IV of this policy. The ammunition and any magazines associated with the surrendered firearm(s) will not be taken.

B. Firearm Seizure – If you as the law enforcement officer are the petitioner, and a temporary ERPO is issued, the process begins with
the issuance of the order. Along with the search warrant obtained at the ERPO hearing, you serve the order to the respondent.

After the respondent has been properly served with the ERPO, you shall take custody of the respondent’s firearm(s) pursuant to the previously obtained search warrant, or other lawful search (plain view).

If applicable, and named in the warrant, you will also seize the respondent’s concealed carry permit.

Similar to the voluntary surrender, once you have seized all of the firearms in question, either seized through a lawful search, or in plain view, the respondent will have the option of the disposition of their firearms. They may choose transfer to a federal firearms dealer, or police custody. If they offer no preference the firearms will remain in police custody.

Also, just as with the voluntary surrender of firearm(s), upon completion of your search, a receipt shall be issued to the respondent articulating all items seized. The original will be filed with the court, and a copy filed with your original report. The original to court needs to be submitted within 72 hours.

If after the firearms are in the possession of your agency, another party claims verifiable title to the firearms, the firearms will be released to him or her. You must also confirm that party is eligible to be in possession of firearm(s), via a CBI InstaCheck. This transaction must also be documented, and notification made to the court.

As with the surrendering of weapons, when you are seizing the weapons by order or warrant, you will not seize any ammunition or magazines associated with the firearm(s).

VI. Storage of Firearms

Once the firearms are in the control and care of your agency, they will be stored, and maintained in a substantially similar condition that the firearm was in when it was surrendered. If the respondent makes no choice of the firearm’s disposition, your agency will store the firearm in a similar manner as if surrendered. You will follow your agency’s policy for safe and secure storage of a firearm i.e. unloaded, open action or cylinder secured by lock, or strap. If the respondent opts for the storage of the weapon(s) with a registered Federal Firearms Dealer, your agency will contact a dealer requesting storage on the respondent’s behalf, and assist to facilitate the transfer.


VII. Return of Firearms

If the ERPO or temporary ERPO is terminated, or expires without renewal, your agency, or agency in possession of the respondent’s firearm(s), have no more than three days to return the firearm(s) in your possession to the respondent. The three day window for the return of the firearm(s) will begin upon the completion of an InstaCheck by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation. Your agency will be notified of the termination of the order by the court. You will then, via a CCIC notification, request the InstaCheck be completed by Colorado Bureau of Investigation. CBI in turn will notify you, again via CCIC, of the status of the respondent.

If the firearm(s) are in the care and custody of a Federal Firearms Dealer, they too have the same window of three days to return the firearm(s) to the respondent. The three day window for the return of  the firearm(s) will begin upon the completion of a an InstaCheck by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

If the firearm(s) was/were classified as an antique or relic, and transferred to the care and control of a relative, they are also required to return care and custody of the firearm(s) in no more than three days to the respondent. The three day window for the return of the firearm(s) will begin upon the completion of the InstaCheck by the Colorado Bureau of Investigation.

If applicable, the respondent’s concealed carry permit will be returned at the same time as the firearm(s).

Any firearm(s) surrendered by the respondent, or taken into custody by a lawful order, that remains unclaimed by the respondent, or lawful owner for at least one year from the date the temporary ERPO, or ERPO expired, whichever is later, becomes property of your agency. The firearm(s) will then be disposed of in accordance with your agency’s policy and procedure for disposal of firearms in police custody.

Full documentation of the disposition of the firearm(s) needs to be submitted to the respondent, to the courts, and in your case disposition report.

 

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California: 21 Shot, 11 Fatally, and 1 School Bomb Attempt During Week of Widespread Violence

The state with the most strict gun control in the nation, California, is giving Chicago a run for their money.  In the past seven days, they have seen three horrific shootings taking 11 lives and injuring 21 as well as a school bombing attempt that was foiled by the groundskeeper.

On Thursday, Nov 14, 2019 a 16 year old boy used a .45 semi-automatic handgun to open fire at his Santa Clarita, CA high school.  He murdered two students and wounded three others before taking his own life. The shooter’s father had died in 2016 and had a history of domestic violence in the home prior to his death.  It has been reported that at one time law enforcement legally confiscated six firearms from the father based on their ability to track the serial numbers to him through California’s “this-is-not-a-registry” program.  It is now being reported that the firearm used in the school shooting was a privately manufactured firearm that did not have a serial number. It is not known where he obtained it.

Another horrific incident took place in San Diego, CA on Saturday, Nov 16, 2019.  During this massacre, a father used a handgun to kill his wife, three of their children, and then himself.  Another child survived and was last reported to be in critical condition. In this tragic incident, the mother had filed for a restraining order just days before but it is unclear if it was ever served, although a restraining order is nothing more than a piece of paper.

Only one day later in Fresno, CA on Sunday, Nov 17, 2019 a family was gathered in a backyard watching a football game when two unknown suspects entered the yard through the back fence and opened fire in to the group.  Four people were killed and six others wounded.  It is reported that the family was part of the Hmong community, and possibly the attack was related to a violent Hmong gang.  The perpetrators are still at large.

To finish off the violent week, on Wednesday, Nov 20, 2019 a homemade bomb was found and defused at a San Jose, CA high school.  A groundskeeper found the device in the bushes right next to the school.  The school was placed in lockdown, administrative offices were evacuated, and a bomb squad was called in.  After some time the bomb was rendered safe and evacuations of the entire campus began.  Bomb dogs were brought in and area was cleared.  There are no suspects at this time.

Wow, what a terrible week for a state who continues to add more gun control laws on top of more gun control laws.  A state that has had a “Red Flag” law in place since 2014 and just recently passed legislation making that particular law so extreme even the ACLU opposed it.  In fact, California just added seven new anti-gun laws to their already extensive roster.

These atrocities are not supposed to happen in California.  They have “the laws”, ya know!  

As expected, national gun control advocates are already screaming for an assault weapons ban and expanded background checks because of the incidents I listed above.  Never mind California requires background checks on everything right down to ammo.  And each of these incidents used handguns, not so-called “assault weapons”, well, except for the homemade bomb.

Although honestly, I think this week of violence tells a much more important story, one that gun rights activists such as myself have been trying to help people understand.  Until we get to the root of the violence, it will not stop.  

And it’s even bigger than that.  Lawmakers need to stop grouping together violent crimes under the umbrella of “gun violence” or “mass shootings”.  It does a disservice to the victims.  It derails meaningful conversation and real solution seeking.

Let’s look at school shootings for example.  When will we start asking the hard questions about what is happening in schools that makes these children want to execute their classmates and teachers?  Why have suicide rates among children, teens, and young adults skyrocketed?  Why are our children choosing death?  These are questions those seeking gun control don’t ask.  They can’t, because it distracts from their heartless goal of disarming citizens.  When I talk with gun grabbers or law makers pushing for more gun control, I often start with the premise that we all agree on the problem, and I mean that.  The problem: school shootings are horrific and heartbreaking and we want to see them end.  We just disagree on the solutions.  The fact that we now have to worry about homemade bombs showing up at schools is a example of why it’s so critical we get to the root cause rather than simply making laws requiring the locking up of guns (which hasn’t stopped school shooters in the past) or making Red Flag laws that clearly have done nothing to prevent tragedy in California.

What about domestic violence?  The motives behind domestic violence murder and murder-suicide are extremely different than school shootings, or public mass shootings, or gang or drug related shootings.  Once again, grouping them in some ambiguous term called “gun violence” and assuming just another gun control law will help is downright dangerous.  Domestic violence is incredibly tricky because the victims are often afraid to leave, and when they do, they are sometimes in extreme danger.  This is why many victims have chosen firearm ownership and training when deciding to leave.  But it also poses yet another potential dangerous aspect to poorly written Red Flag laws because domestic violence perpetrators can actually use these laws to disarm their victims.

As for gang related shootings, tackling this epidemic is troubling as these people thrive on crime. No law will stop them. And again the solution to gang violence is very different than the solution to school shootings or domestic violence.

So, let’s start talking about solutions.  What do you think the solutions are?  Leave them in the comments. 

 

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Debunking CBS “60 Minutes” Segment On Colorado’s Red Flag ERPO Law

It seems a day doesn’t go by that we’re not debunking more lies and half truths coming from the mainstream media.  The latest is a 60 Minutes segment that aired Sunday.  This segment titled “A look at Red Flag laws and the battle over one in Colorado” is chock full of inaccurate facts, omissions, and misinformation.  We go over those below.

To watch the full segment, you will have to visit the CBS website and view it there.  It is 14 minutes long and free to watch.

You can watch a quick preview of the segment here:

Our take:

1.) There have not been 366 mass shootings this year (learn more: www.rallyforourrights.com/we-are-being-lied-to-about-mass-shootings-again)

2.) California passed their Red Flag law in 2014, not 2016.  Now this is a minor discrepancy, but something 60 Minutes absolutely should have gotten correct.  If they are going to flub on such a simple fact, what else will they get wrong?  Do they not know how to use Google?

3.) Connecticut had a Red Flag law in place when Sandy Hook happened. Theirs was enacted in 1999. Sandy Hook happened in 2012 and was NOT the catalyst to write the law as the segment implies.

4.) Law enforcement is not the only entity who can petition the courts. Spouses, ex-spouses, roommates, former roommates, any relative or step-relative, a Tinder date gone wrong, or someone you had an affair with are all also people who can petition the courts for a Red Flag ERPO.   If you don’t fall in to the insanely broad range of people the law defines as “family members”, you can then simply go to a law enforcement officer and have them file the petition for you.

5.) The temporary orders are granted based on a preponderance of evidence – even when law enforcement files the petition.  Preponderance quite literally means the more convincing evidence, yet the person being accused is not present at the hearing and doesn’t know it’s taking place, therefore cannot present any evidence at all.  The accuser will ALWAYS present the more convincing evidence. How will any of these ever be denied?

5.) It’s despicable how Sheriff Tony Spurlock said “this is a tool to take away guns” then turns around and says “this isn’t about taking away guns, it’s about getting people the help they need” when there is absolutely NO mental health component to the Colorado law.

6.) Watching the Zackari Parrish footage has us wondering how that is any different than serving a Red Flag warrant? How would the outcome change? Also, if they just left him alone that night, what would have happened? Why did Spurlock send his deputies into what he knew could be a gun fight with soft body armor?

7.) Sheriff Steve Reams was thoughtful, reasonable and great in pointing out that we need to be helping people, not simply removing the tool that could do harm. We are thankful for him.

8.) They omit the fact that more than 50 of Colorado’s 64 sheriffs oppose the law as written, as does the Denver Police Union and the Aurora Police Union.

Learn all about Colorado’s Red Flag law here.

 

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“Red Flag” ERPO Community Informational Seminar w/ Q&A and Discussion

This is our second “Red Flag” ERPO community informational seminar. The first was a great success with a packed house and tons of questions!

During this seminar Rally for our Rights founder, Lesley Hollywood, will go over the facts about the law with a PowerPoint presentation. Attendees will be provided with an accompanying handout so they can easily follow along. Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams will then discuss the law from a law enforcement standpoint. Any and all questions are welcome and will be answered.

Topics covered will include: what is in the law, how it works, concerns about it, what gun owners need to know, and what to do if you are falsely ERPO’d.

Handouts will be provided, as well as resources.

The seminar will take place at the Anythink Wright Farms Public Library in Thornton, CO. It will be in the large meeting room.

FREE and OPEN TO THE PUBLIC.

RSVP preferred but not required. RSVP on Facebook here: www.facebook.com/events/621825881683226 or email RSVP to [email protected].

Donations always appreciated and help cover the costs of the venue, printing, and more. Donate here:  www.rallyforourrights.com/donate

Colorado Gun Control Has Been A Complete Failure In Reducing Violent Crime

In 2013 anti-gun elected officials in the Colorado legislature passed a package of gun control bills with the promise it would bring down violent crime and save the state from what they claimed was certain catastrophe. We knew at the time they were lying, and the most recent FBI data shows those laws have been a complete failure to help reduce violent crime. In fact, violent crime has been on a steady rise ever since the laws were enacted, reversing a downward trend.

Here’s what went into law July 1, 2013:

HB13-1229: Expanded Background Checks

This law expands the federal background check requirement to include private sales and adds a mental health component.

Under the new law, before any person who is not a licensed gun dealer transfers possession of a firearm, he or she must arrange for a licensed dealer to obtain the required background check. In obtaining the background check, the dealer must follow all procedures that it would follow were it transferring the firearm in a retail transaction, including recording the transfer, retaining the records, and complying with all state and federal laws.

The law also requires the reporting by the courts of persons to the NICS and CBI database who are (1) found to be incapacitated, (2) committed to a behavioral health treatment program (e.g., for substance abuse), or (3) involuntarily certified for short-term or long-term treatment and care for mental illness.

HB13-1224: Large Capacity Magazine Ban

This law prohibits the sale, transfer, or possession of large-capacity ammunition magazines or feeding devices, which includes fixed or detachable magazines that can hold more than 15 rounds of ammunition among other things such as shotgun shell limits.  A through description of the ban can be found here.

HB13-1228: Background Check Fees

This law directs the Bureau to impose a fee for performing an instant criminal background check pursuant to state law. The fee amount cannot exceed the total amount of direct and indirect costs the Bureau incurs in performing the check.

The bills were signed into law by then Governor, John Hickenlooper.  Hickenlooper is currently running for senate against sitting Senator Cory Gardner who is up for reelection in 2020.  Hickenlooper has even gone as far as to praise the laws and the impact they have had on the state of Colorado.  I have no idea what he is praising.  The new laws also spurred the 2013 successful recall of State Senator Angela Giron and then Senate President John Morse.  Another recall attempt resulted in the resignation of former State Senator Evie Hudak.  The resignation was a strategic move by the Colorado Democrat Party to prevent losing a third senate seat.

But have these laws impacted violence in Colorado?  Our research team scoured the most recent FBI crime reporting data to get a better picture. The results were stunning.  Not only has crime not decreased as was promised, it’s increased – and drastically.  The following charts were put together based on the data provided by the FBI.

 

This first graph is violent crime which includes murder and non-negligent manslaughter, rape, robbery, and aggravated assault.

 

These following two charts show the overall murder rate year over year, as well as trends.  While these show the murder rate was rising before the 2013 laws (0.20 murders per 100K per year, between 2010-2013), since the laws passed it’s been rising 30% faster (0.26 murders per 100K per year, between 2014-2018). So not only did the laws not reverse nor even slow the rising murder rate, it is rising even faster than before the laws.


 

This chart below details the forcible rape rates in the state. 

Note: the revised line accounts for a change made to the definition of forcible rape in 2013 to include male victims of rape  (the FBI previously only added female rape victims into their data).  The revision also clarified that any penetration without consent was considered rape, including penetration by object.  Learn more about that change here

 

Below you will find the aggravated assault stats. The FBI defines aggravated assault as an unlawful attack by one person upon another for the purpose of inflicting severe or aggravated bodily injury.

 

 

And lastly, here are the robbery stats for Colorado.  The FBI definition of robbery is the taking or attempting to take anything of value from the care, custody, or control of a person or persons by force or threat of force or violence and/or by putting the victim in fear.

Bottom line: Colorado has a violence problem and gun control has done nothing to curb it.  Until we address the root cause of the violence, it will continue to escalate no matter how many laws are made to restrict the tools a violent person may use.

 

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They’re Coming For Your AR-15s and AK-47s Even Though Handguns Are Used In Nearly All Gun Crimes

AR’s, AK’s, and assault rifles, oh my!

If you watched the last two Democratic Presidential Debates you heard how every candidate wants to get “weapons of war” off the streets in an effort to tackle what they call our country’s “gun violence” epidemic.  These candidates quickly make it clear when they say weapons of war, they mean AR-15s and AK-47s .  Beto O’Rourke even said he plans to have the police go door to door to confiscate these terrifying guns from those who refuse to cooperate with a mandatory buyback, backing up his “Hell yes, we’re going to take your AR-15” promise.

It’s unclear if these candidates are clueless as to how infrequently rifles such as AR-15s and AK-47s are actually used in gun crime, or if they are using these scary sounding trigger words to garner support from a populace that is being brainwashed to believe these particular firearms are responsible for a grossly inflated number of mass shootings. My guess is it’s a combination of the two.

If you haven’t yet learned how the gun grabbers are inflating these mass shooting numbers, you must read this article.

Our research team dug into the latest FBI report on gun deaths and put together some very telling charts.  This first one shows exactly how insignificant rifles are in the larger picture, and in fact, up until 2015, shotguns have been used in more murders than rifles.

Look closely, there are four lines in this graph…and the rifles line is so insignificant it can barely be seen.  

 

In addition, our research team took it one step further to look at the alleged “gun violence” epidemic and how it relates to rifles.  This chart shows that even these small numbers have been declining for years, and continue to do so.

 

Here’s another graph that shows where the firearm murder rate sits compared to all murders via other methods. It’s clear that both have been steadily trending downward for years, and that the firearm murder rate follows an overall murder trend, again emphasizing that the problem is violence, and not the tool one wishes to be violent with.

 

Bottom line: “Assault Weapons” Bans or mandatory buybacks are nothing but knee-jerk, virtue signaling reactions.

Just say NO.

 

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LAPD Swarms Library After Citizen Reports Star Wars Stormtrooper as ‘Gunman’ During Reading Event

LAPD Swarms Library After Citizen Reports Star Wars Stormtrooper as 'Gunman' During Reading Event : Rally For Our Rights

 

First, this is NOT satire.

Second, you read that right.  A “concerned citizen” actually called the police and reported a cosplay Stormtrooper as a gunman at a Star Wars Reads event at the Los Angeles Public Library.

According to KTLA News 5, “A Star Wars-themed event catering to children at the Los Angeles Public Library’s Silver Lake branch on Saturday drew a police response after someone reported a performer dressed as a Stormtrooper as an armed man, authorities said.

The incident unfolded around noon at the library, 2411 Glendale Blvd., a Los Angeles Police Department sergeant said.

Officers responded to a report of a person with a gun and were directed to a performer wearing the costume of the evil warriors from the Star Wars series. The performer carried a large prop gun as part of the costume.

After briefly detaining the Stormtrooper, officers determined the weapon was, in fact, a prop and posed no threat.”

There were reports on Twitter of LAPD initially swarming the building, scaring children and parents alike.

This hyper-vigilant report of a gunman at the mere sight of a cosplay prop is undoubtedly a response to the fear mongering and brainwashing the gun grabbers spread every day.  It’s also a peek into the future with Red Flag Laws.

Star Wars Reads is a month long event that is held worldwide with many events at local libraries, bookstores and even schools.  During these events, people will dress as characters from the films and read to children.  The all ages events are meant to spur excitement and interest in reading, a worthy and wholesome goal.

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Understanding Colorado’s “Red Flag” Extreme Risk Protection Order ERPO Law

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

Background

HB19-1177 Extreme Risk Protection Orders ERPO was introduced into the Colorado State Legislature on Feb 14, 2019.  It was sponsored by Rep Tom Sullivan and Rep Alec Garnett in the state house.  It passed the house on March 4, 2019 with every Republican and two Democrats voting against it. It was sponsored by Sen Lois Court and Sen Brittany Pettersen in the state senate, where it passed on March 28, 2019 with every Republican and one Democrat voting against it. This legislation had bi-partisan OPPOSITION.  It was signed by Governor Jared Polis on April 12, 2019.  It will become law on January 1, 2020.

Red Flag laws, also known as Extreme Risk Protection Orders or Gun Violence Restraining Orders, have been around since 1999, when Connecticut adopted theirs.  This was followed by Indiana in 2005, California in 2014, Washington in 2016, and Oregon in 2017.  In 2018 nine other states passed Red Flag ERPO laws, and in 2019 three states passed them, including Colorado.

What the public is being told about Colorado’s law

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.

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.]

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, and in certain cases, it can be done anonymously.

Questions that will be asked on the petition include how many firearms the person being accused has, what types, and where they 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.

What happens after the ERPO petition is filed?

Once an ERPO petition is filed, a hearing will be set either the same day or the next day.  Once again, the petitioner (accuser) does not need to be present. They can attend this hearing over the phone.  At this hearing, the petitioner will be asked to provide a “preponderance” of evidence. Preponderance is the lowest evidentiary threshold used in the court system. It is based on the more convincing evidence.  But these hearings are ex-parte with only the accuser present, so there is no counterevidence presented.

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, even if not convicted, 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.

At this hearing the court will either approve or deny the ERPO.  If it is denied, they must document reasoning for denial.

How will the ERPO be enacted?

Once the ERPO and warrant are in hand, it’s up to law enforcement how they take action, but these are judicial orders coming down from the courts.  Law enforcement is required to carry out the orders.  During the act of serving the ERPO on the accused, law enforcement must also determine if the individual should be put into a 72 hour involuntary commitment hold.

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.

The order will include a future court date for the permanent hearing.  This will be the first opportunity the accused will have to speak on their own behalf.

The creation of a civil search warrant

Buried deep inside the bill language is one of the most unconstitutional pieces. 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.

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.

Very few civil search warrants have ever been issued, and the ones that have were in cases of intellectual property such as seizing computer files, and even those required clear and convincing evidence.

What happens at the 14 day ERPO hearing?

First, it’s important to understand this hearing is WITHIN 14 days.  It could be in 3 days, or 6 days, or 14 days.

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.

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

The judge will make their decision based on clear and convincing evidence.

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?

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.

There are no penalties for false reports/false accusers.

Have ERPO’s worked in other states?

It’s difficult to say because the majority of the laws are so new.

States like California and Connecticut have still seen horrific mass shootings.  Sandy Hook happened in Connecticut while they had a Red Flag law in place.  California has seen a public mass shooting each year since theirs went into effect in 2014.

States like Indiana pointed to stats showing suicide by firearm was decreasing, but 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.

They are also used differently in various states, and this is largely because the laws from state to state vary so drastically.

Florida has seen ERPO’s used 5 times a day since the law went into effect mid-2018, with over 2000 firearms taken. In contrast, Oregon has received 132 extreme risk protection order petitions total through August 2019 and granted 107.  Their law went into effect in 2017. These varying numbers are due to the process in which they are granted, as well as who is able to request them. Colorado’s law is one of the worst based on the broad range of people who can petition the courts as well as the low evidentiary threshold needed to grant one.

There is no mental health component

The claims that Colorado’s “Red Flag” ERPO law will help those in a suicidal crisis is disingenuous at best and dangerous at worst.  Colorado’s law has no mental health component to it.  The legislation asks law enforcement to enter the home of a suicidal individual who own 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.

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 (www.holdmyguns.org).  In addition, Walk The Talk America offers non-crisis support to gun owners (www.WTTA.org).

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

There is deep concern within the firearms community that the existence of an ERPO law will make gun owners no longer reach out for help when they need it.

What about Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties?

Since the debate over the ERPO legislation began in spring of 2019, over 50 county sheriffs have come out publicly in opposition to the law as written in Colorado.  Many of them still support the Red Flag concept, but after reading through the legislation that was passed in Colorado, they cannot support it.  Their reasons vary from unconstitutionality, to worry of putting their officers and citizens in harms way, to worry about the abuse that will likely be rampant with the poorly written law.

37 counties have declared Second Amendment Sanctuary status.  What this means varies from county to county.

In addition, the Denver Police Union and Aurora Police Union also opposed the law as written, citing constitutionality.

Constitutional Concerns

2nd Amendment aside, Colorado’s Red Flag law has many constitutional concerns.

The creation of a civil search warrant is a 4th Amendment violation.

The taking of property without due process is a 5th and 16th Amendment violation.

The inability to face your accuser or be heard by an impartial jury is a 6th Amendment violation.

Not to mention the chilling effect it will have on the 1st Amendment.

A constitutional lawsuit cannot be brought forth until someone is “harmed” by the law, meaning until someone is ERPO’d, there is no plaintiff for the case.  Expect to see challenges to this law once it goes into effect January 1, 2020.

 

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17 Times Government Put Guns In The Hands Of Criminals

The latest buzzword in the anti-gun rhetoric dictionary is “mandatory buyback“, primarily referring to semi-automatic rifles or as the gun grabbers call them “assault weapons”.  Since an outright ban is not a very popular idea, especially with tens of millions of just AR-15’s owned by law abiding citizens, the anti-gun politicians need a new tactic.  Enter buyback programs.

I’ve written about buybacks before, highlighting how they are often used by individuals to sell their crap guns and purchase better ones.  But this latest proposal of “mandatory buybacks” is just ridiculous.

First, they aren’t buying back anything.  They never owned the property in the first place.  They are creating a law that would force citizens to sell their property to the government at whatever price the government deems adequate, and if the property (gun) owner refuses, they become a criminal.  Reminds me of eminent domain.

Second, any responsible gun owner knows if their firearm is in their possession, it will not be used to harm anyone.  That is the safest place it could possibly be. And if an individual owns a firearm with the intent of harming others, they sure as hell won’t sell it to a buyback program.

But this got me thinking about some of the stories I’ve seen where people have taken their rifles in to the police after a tragic mass shooting, saying they don’t want these guns on the streets anymore.  Now, I won’t criticize their intent.  It is their own property.  They can do with it what they chose.  But do they really know what will happen to that rifle after they turn it in?  Is it really safer in the hands of the government than in the hands of a law abiding gun owner?

A little research shows that not only does the government actually run guns to criminals themselves, but they lose them all the time.

Here are a handful of examples in no particular order:

Baltimore: Members of the Gun Trace Task Force (GTTF) went rogue and eventually eight officers were convicted of stealing money, drugs and guns from the people they stopped, then reselling those same drugs and guns.

Michigan: police chief created a “reserve officer” unit, but turns out it was just a way to sell firearms, ammo, and body armor to celebrities, many who were barred from owning firearms.

California: police officer left her gun in the restroom, where it was promptly stolen.  She apologized, so it’s okay. 

New Mexico: police chief, along with a town trustee and the town mayor, was busted for running guns to a brutal Mexican drug cartel. 

Missouri: police chief was purchasing firearms with city funds then those firearms went “missing”. 

North Carolina: police chief was arrested for selling confiscated guns that should have been returned to the rightful owners after charges were dismissed. 

New York City: police officer was manufacturing illegal guns and selling them to criminals.

Nationwide: law enforcement and government guns regularly found in the hands of criminals.

Washington DC: police officer sold guns to those barred from purchasing them legally; at least one was used in a murder.

California: two police officers sold more than 100 firearms to convicted felons.

California: gun control proponent, State Senator Leland Yee promised votes and guns in exchange for campaign contributions, as well as participated in a gun trafficking scheme running gun from the Philippines with known mobsters.

California: school board president busted in the same gun trafficking scheme as above.

Nationwide: ATF can’t find “substantial number” of guns stolen from a government disposal facility. 

Nationwide: DEA agents keep losing guns and no one cares. 

Worldwide: 2000 guns were sold by the government to Mexican drug cartels in hopes of tracking the sellers. They lost track of the guns, some turned up in murders, most are still on the streets.  This is known as Fast and Furious. 

Worldwide: Pentagon lost weapons given to Yemen. This includes: 1,250,000 rounds of ammunition, 200 Glock 9 mm pistols, 200 M-4 rifles, 250 suits of body armor, 300 sets of night-vision goggles, among other things. 

This list was compiled after a 20 minute Google search.  You can only imagine how much more is out there as well as what hasn’t been discovered.  It also begs the question of what will happen with all the guns confiscated through “Red Flag” Extreme Risk Protection Orders ERPOs.

So yeah, don’t sell your guns to the government.  You never know where they’ll actually end up. 

Have other stories of government corruption or incompetence regarding firearms?  Drop them in the comments.

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