Concealed Carry Banned Under Proposed Colorado Control Gun Law

Concealed Carry Banned Under Proposed Colorado Gun Law

In light of the tragic mass shooting at a King Soopers in Boulder, the gun control extremists in the Colorado legislature are taking aim at concealed carry. It should be noted the Boulder shooter did not have a concealed carry permit, nor did he attempt to conceal his firearm.

SB21-256 Local Regulation of Firearms essentially repeals and replaces the 2003 firearm preemption law in Colorado Revised Statutes which prohibits local governments from creating firearm laws that would differ from state law. This 2003 law is important because if each of our 64 counties and 271 municipalities had different laws regulating firearms, things could get pretty messy for gun owners who have every intention of obeying the law.

This bill would replace the preemption language with new language stating firearm laws are, in fact, a matter of local concern, and local governments can enact their own laws but ONLY if they are more strict than state law – otherwise those Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties would grow some teeth.

In the day and age of criminal justice reform being such an important and versed issue, it would seem most plausible they wouldn’t want to make it harder for people to obey the law. That obviously doesn’t apply to gun owners.

SB21-256 changes current preemption language to state a “…local government may enact an ordinance, regulation, or other law governing or prohibiting the sale, purchase, transfer or possession of a firearm, ammunition, or firearm component or accessory that a person may lawfully sell, purchase, transfer, or possess under state or federal law.”

This means any of those 64 counties or 271 towns and cities would be able to restrict firearms to whatever level their governing body should choose. Undoubtedly Second Amendment court challenges would follow…

The bill then goes on to add “…a local government, including a special district, or the governing board of an institution of higher education many enact an ordinance, resolution, rule, or other regulation that prohibits a permittee from carrying a concealed handgun in a building or specific area within the local government’s or governing board’s jurisdiction.”

This language allows for any of those 64 counties, 271 towns and cities, 2,800 special districts, or 64 colleges to ban concealed carry whenever and wherever they’d like within their jurisdiction. Does this mean just parks and government buildings? Or downtown areas?  Or can they choose to ban concealed carry within their entire city or county limits? From the way the bill is currently worded, they’d be able to ban it at city or county limits.  And have no doubt, many cities would love to enact a conceal carry ban and strip their citizens of the right to self defense.

So, quick recap: After a madman murdered 10 people in a grocery store, in a state where violent crime is skyrocketing, the solution lawmakers have come up with to prevent tragedies like this from happening again is to strip responsible gun owners, and those worried for their own self protection, of their right to self defense in their own towns, counties, and even on college campuses where 1 in 5 women are sexually assaulted.

Many may think this bill is a knee-jerk reaction, but have no doubt, it is an intentional swipe at the firearm preemption law that has been in place since 2003. Ten days before the Boulder King Soopers shooting, a Boulder County District Judge overturned a City of Boulder ordinance banning so-called “assault weapons” along with magazines over 10 rounds. Virtue signaling gun grabbers like to use this example as to why the preemption law needs repealed. What they fail to mention is Boulder’s own set of gun laws would have done nothing to stop the shooter.  He didn’t live in Boulder.  He didn’t purchase his firearm in Boulder.  The heinous acts he committed are already highly illegal and would have carried a maximum sentence of the death penalty had Colorado not repealed it in 2020.  The only other crime committed by the Boulder shooter that would have been covered under Boulder’s own specific town laws is the open carrying of a long gun outside of the vehicle in the King Soopers parking lot – before he began his massacre. That part of the Boulder ordinance was NOT overturned by the judge, yet the Boulder DA has not added it to his list of charges.  The Boulder DA also has not added the crime of lying on ATF Form 4473 which the shooter did when he answered yes to question 21(c): if he’d ever been convicted of a crime that carried a maximum penalty of 12 months or more in prison even if he received a lesser sentence including probation. In 2017 he was convicted of Third Degree Assault which is a Misdemeanor 1 carrying a maximum sentence of 18 months in prison. Lying on ATF Form 4473 is a felony punishable by up to 5 years in prison.

This bill passed the Senate State, Veterans and Military Affairs committee on Tuesday, May 11th.  It has not yet been scheduled for Second Reading in the Senate.

Please email your State Senators and ask they vote NO on this atrocious bill! 

Not sure who your State Senator is? Look them up HERE.
If you know who your State Senator is but need contact info, find all their info on our Elected Officials page HERE.

Follow all Colorado gun related legislation at our Legislative Watch page HERE.

 

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CO Gun Bills Expose Glaring Assault On Victims Rights After Floor Debate Amendments Fail

CO Gun Bills Expose Glaring Assault On Victims Rights After Floor Debate Amendments Fail

 

This past week, two Colorado gun control bills have been rapidly making their way through the state legislature. While HB21-1106: Mandatory Safe Storage of Firearms originated in the house, SB21-078: Mandatory Reporting of Lost and Stolen Guns was introduced in the senate, both on Feb 16, 2021. This was undoubtedly a strategic move to keep gun rights activists chasing the zig zag between the two chambers. It culminated Tuesday morning when Lost and Stolen Guns was being heard in the senate, while Safe Storage was on third reading in the house. Both passed their respective hearings. Safe Storage will move on to the State Senate where the process will begin again and it must pass before landing on the governor’s desk, and Lost and Stolen guns will be heard for it’s final vote in the senate Wednesday morning before moving on to the State House of Representatives.

Confused yet?  Yeah…that was intentional on their part. Long story short, both bills continue to move forward – and fast.

Debate on Mandatory Safe Storage on the house floor went for nearly 10 hours with 27 amendments being offered by Republicans, all but one amendment was voted down. You can watch the debate here and part 2 here. Debate on Mandatory Reporting of Lost and Stolen Guns went relatively fast, lasting about an hour, with three amendments being offered, all rejected. You can watch that one here.

One thing became glaringly obvious while watching debate on these bills coupled with the rejection of amendment after amendment: gun owners lives do not matter to the gun grabbing Democrats down at the state capitol. The vote was along party lines with one Democrat joining Republicans in their efforts.

The Assault On Victim’s Rights

During both the debate on Safe Storage as well as Lost and Stolen Guns, amendments were put forth to protect victims of crime.

The following amendments were struck down by Democrats:

Amendment L-054 would have made it impossible for a person to be charged with the qualifying Class 2 Misdemeanor if the discovery of an unlocked firearm happened during a lawful entrance into a person’s home, such as during the commission of a crime against the person. For example: a woman is the victim of domestic violence in her own home, and police arrive at the scene. Upon entering the home they find a handgun on the kitchen table which had been used in her assault. There is a one year old toddler in the home. This domestic violence victim is now a criminal for not keeping the firearm locked up even if not at her own hands. This amendment was rejected along party lines.

Another amendment would have exempted persons from Safe Storage requirements who have active restraining orders against another person because they are in imminent danger.  Struck down by Democrats. If you are in such imminent danger even the courts agree, too bad, keep that gun locked up and inaccessible, call the police, that’s their solution.

And yet another amendment would have exempted gun owners in the event a juvenile trespasses onto their property and steals a firearm. Doesn’t matter. If you live alone with your cat and never have another person in your home, YOU will be held responsible for the crime another person commits in breaking into your home and stealing your property, and be slapped with a Class 2 Misdemeanor for not locking up your guns.

During the Lost and Stolen Guns debate three amendments were presented.  These amendments stated that if the firearm was stolen during an incident in which the person or a member of the persons immediate family was a victim of homicide (amendment 1), or a victim of kidnapping (amendment 2), or a victim of sexual assault (amendment 3) they would be exempt from the 5 day day reporting requirement. This is because rational people understand that when such trauma happens, reporting a gun lost or stolen is unlikely at the top of their priority list and during times of grief and/or processing the trauma, this can easily be overlooked or even create more trauma for the victim. All three of these amendments failed.

Yet another amendment offered and rejected would have given a gun owner or their family an avenue to sue the state if one is injured or killed while being unable to protect themselves due to the requirement to keep their guns “safely stored” where they are much more inaccessible should the need for self defense arise.  Funny the same party who preaches putting an end to qualified immunity would reject such a measure.

Last but not least, three amendments were presented that would have provided 7 days (amendment 1), then 3 days (amendment 2), and finally 24 hours (amendment 3) to come into compliance if found to be in violation of this new law that has no funding for the educational campaign. Those not paying attention are expected to “just know”.

They Also Reject Gun Owners Being Involved In Educational Campaign Development

An amendment was voted down that would have required the development of the Safe Storage educational campaign to include consultation with the Division of Criminal Justice and Public Safety, non-profit organizations that provide firearms safety education and training, members of the firearm industry, including manufacturers, dealers and importers, along with other experts in firearm safety. Because to them, it makes no sense to have stakeholders at the table who will actually be affected by this law and understand how to connect with gun owners.

Another amendment would have added a requirement that all 7th graders complete a firearms safety course, something that would help immensely with accidental shootings.

Exempting law enforcement officers, veterans, active duty military, and similar from Safe Storage was another amendment killed.

This was followed by an amendment that would have given some teeth to the Second Amendment Sanctuary counties who tend to be immune to many of the firearm crime issues that plague more urban areas such as school shootings and gun theft.

One Amendment Did Pass

The one amendment that DID pass will require information about organizations such as Hold My Guns and other community programs that allow firearm owners to voluntarily and temporarily store firearms at a secure location outside of the home in times of crisis be part of the unfunded educational campaign.

You can follow these bills and others, find legislator contact info, and even sign up to provide public comment at our Legislative Watch page.

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VIDEO: Police Break Down Susan Holmes’ Door To Make Arrest For “Red Flag” ERPO Perjury Charge

VIDEO: Police Break Down Susan Holmes’ Door To Make Arrest For “Red Flag” ERPO Perjury Charge

Susan Holmes has been arrested and it happened during a live stream with YouTuber “timmybmn”.  For over 20 minutes, on the uncut version of the video, Holmes discussed her son’s case as well as Red Flag laws.  The entire time police can be heard outside.  Eventually they break into her home and arrest her while still on the YouTube stream.  The arrest occurs approx at the 10:40 timestamp in the video below.

WATCH!

Nine days into Colorado’s atrocious Red Flag ERPO law being on the books, Susan Holmes made national news by filing a petition against a police officer who killed her mentally unstable knife wielding son in 2017.  On the petition Susan claimed her and Officer Phillip Morris had a child in common, which made her a qualifying person.  “Child in common” has no definition included on the petition.  She live streamed the filing of the petition on her YouTube channel.  You can watch that here.

Holmes managed to find a loophole in the law that allowed her to skip the Temporary ERPO hearing where the petition likely would have been denied at the door, and go right to a Permanent ERPO hearing instead.  This meant a full hearing where both parties were required to be present and both parties would have as much time as needed to present their case. This hearing was a circus and was denied in the end.  We were there and you can read our recap here.

On January 23, 2020 the Larimer County DA issued an arrest warrant for Holmes and even added her to the county’s Most Wanted list.  Her charges? Perjury and Attempting to Influence a Public Servant.  According to Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith, the Perjury charge was based on the false statement on the petition, and the Attempting to Influence a Public Servant charge was because her end goal was to have a judge grant an Extreme Risk Protection Order on Officer Morris.

Let us know your thoughts on this latest development in the comments.  Do you think if a civilian had a fraudulent Red Flag ERPO filed against them, the person who filed the false petition would be receiving the same treatment as Susan Holmes?

To learn more about Colorado’s Red Flag Law, obtain attorney resources, and/or report if you’re Red Flagged, visit www.redflagresourcecenter.com.

 

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BREAKING: Colorado Mother Who ERPO Red Flagged Cop Who Shot Her Son Posted Her Petition Filing On YouTube

BREAKING: Colorado Mother Who ERPO Red Flagged Cop Who Shot Her Son Posted Her Petition Filing On YouTube

This article has been updated to reflect that the Temporary ERPO may not have been granted, but it was not denied and the case has moved forward to a permanent hearing.  The judge has signed off on the request for the respondent’s counsel among other things.

This sounds like it should be an Onion article, but sadly it is not.  This is the reality of how easily abused Colorado’s Red Flag ERPO law has already been in the 14 days since it became law.

On January 9, 2020 a petition was filed by Susan Holmes against Phillip Morris.  The petition states that the two have a child in common (a factor that would make Susan a qualifying person to file the ERPO under the law’s broad definition of “family or household member”).  If she was not one of the people that fall into the nine categories of “family member”, she would have had to go to law enforcement to request they file on her behalf.

There is a complex history between a Susan Holmes and Phillip Morris in Fort Collins.  Phillip Morris is a CSU Police Officer who shot and killed Susan Holmes’ knife wielding son in 2017 and there is no evidence the two have ever had a child in common, as it appears they did not know each other prior to the 2017 incident described below.  It is also highly unlikely they have had a child since the incident given the nature of their relationship.  The petition cites “ongoing violence and aggression from 2013-2017” as evidence that Morris is a danger to himself or others and an ERPO is needed to ensure he is stripped of any firearms he may own or have access to.  It also states there is an ongoing lawsuit.  It should be noted 2013 is when Morris was hired by CSU Police.

The ERPO was moved forward by 8th Judicial District Chief Judge Stephen Howard.  He signed the request for appointed counsel for the respondent among other things.  A Permanent ERPO hearing will take place on January 16, 2020

You can read the entire story here.

What is even more shocking is that Susan Holmes actually posted her filing of the petition and a very long rant on YouTube!  She finishes off her ten minute video with “And this is why Colorado citizens should be allowed to file E.R.P.O.’s.”

Watch:

To learn more about Colorado’s Red Flag Law, obtain attorney resources, and/or report if you’re Red Flagged, visit www.redflagresourcecenter.com.

 

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Cop ERPO Red Flagged By Mother of Man He Killed In 2017 Colorado Police Shooting; Mother Claims They Have Child Together

Cop ERPO Red Flagged By Mother of Man He Killed In 2017 Colorado Police Shooting; Mother Claims They Have Child Together : Rally for our Rights


This article has been updated to reflect that the Temporary ERPO may not have been granted, but it was not denied and the case has moved forward to a permanent hearing.  The judge has signed off on the request for the respondent’s appointed counsel among other things.

Colorado’s Red Flag ERPO law went into effect January 1, 2020 and we’re already finding alarming cases that deserve attention.  A brand new Red Flag ERPO case out of Fort Collins, Colorado sheds light on exactly how easily this new law can and will be abused.

Here’s what we know:

On January 9, 2020 a petition was filed by Susan Holmes against a Phillip Morris.  The petition states that the two have a child in common (a factor that would make Susan a qualifying person to file the ERPO under the law’s broad definition of “family or household member”).  If she was not one of the people that fall into the nine categories of “family member”, she would have had to go to law enforcement to request they file on her behalf.

There is a complex history between a Susan Holmes and Phillip Morris in Fort Collins.  Phillip Morris is a CSU Police Officer who shot and killed Susan Holmes’ knife wielding son in 2017 and there is no evidence the two have ever had a child in common, as it appears they did not know each other prior to the 2017 incident described below.  It is also highly unlikely they have had a child since the incident given the nature of their relationship.  The petition cites “ongoing violence and aggression from 2013-2017” as evidence that Morris is a danger to himself or others and an ERPO is needed to ensure he is stripped of any firearms he may own or have access to.  It also states there is an ongoing lawsuit.  It should be noted 2013 is when Morris was hired by CSU Police.

The ERPO was moved forward by 8th Judicial District Chief Judge Stephen Howard.  He signed the request for appointed counsel among other things.  A Permanent ERPO hearing will take place on January 16, 2020

It is unclear if Morris has surrendered his weapons, was entered in the NICS and CBI databases, and is off duty, as would be required by the law if a temporary ERPO was granted.

There is a long history between Holmes and Morris, and it’s a complicated one.  

On July 1, 2017 Susan Holmes contacted police after her son, 19 year old Jeremy Holmes, left her home carrying an 11.25 inch bayonet knife and was talking about killing his brother who lived on the CSU campus.  Susan first attempted to contact the brother and his wife but was unsuccessful, so she turned to law enforcement.  During the call with police, Susan explained that her son was mentally ill.

CSU Police Officer Phillip Morris was the responding officer.

According to the Larimer County District Attorney and body camera footage, after Morris made contact, Jeremy Holmes began brandishing the knife.  Morris can be heard instructing Holmes to drop his knife, even as Holmes continued to walk toward him, forcing the police officer to back up more than 100 feet in about two minutes.  Morris told Holmes to drop the knife 36 times. In the video Holmes can be heard saying “kill me now” three times.

At this point, back-up Officer Erin Mast arrived and drew her weapon, also demanding that Holmes drop the knife.  As Morris reached to holster his gun and grab his Taser, Holmes charged toward him with the knife.  Mast shot Holmes twice, and Morris shot him four times.

Since the incident, Susan Holmes, mother of the deceased, has filed a civil lawsuit against CSU claiming lack of transparency surrounding the details of her son’s death, has run for city council, and campaigns to the point of instigation to change police practices that she believes led to the incident.

Now it appears she is asking to have Officer Phillip Morris’ weapons seized for at least 364 days, which is what would happen if the Permanent ERPO is granted.  Morris would have one opportunity to request the court lift the order during those 364 days, and at that time Susan Holmes would be alerted and have the opportunity to ask the judge to deny Morris’ request.  When the 364 days is up, again, before the order is lifted, Susan Holmes would be alerted and able to request the ERPO be put into place for another year.

And we must revisit the question that was brought up in the beginning – do these two really have a child together?  Is it really that easy for just anyone to file an ERPO petition?

We will be watching the permanent order closely and will provide an update.  More information can be found via a quick Larimer County Court Docket search.

37 counties across Colorado have declared Second Amendment Sanctuary status, but although Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith has been an outspoken critic of the new Red Flag ERPO law, Larimer County, where Fort Collins is located, isn’t one of them.  That said, even if they had declared 2A Sanctuary Status, that wouldn’t stop the orders from going through the court, nor would it stop enforcement actions within city limits unless the municipality has declared themselves a 2A Sanctuary city.  Fort Collins has not done that.

Links to sources and bodycam footage are provided throughout the article so people can draw their own opinions about the police shooting. This article is about the potentially malicious use of an ERPO.

UPDATE:  Susan Holmes has posted video of her petition on YouTube!  WATCH:

To learn more about Colorado’s Red Flag Law, obtain attorney resources, and/or report if you’re Red Flagged, visit www.redflagresourcecenter.com.

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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. 

 

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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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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Florida City Signs Pro-NRA Proclamation, Cites San Francisco’s Vote Declaring NRA A Terrorist Organization

Florida City Signs Pro-NRA Proclamation, Cites San Francisco's Vote Declaring NRA A Terrorist Organization

During Vero Beach, Florida’s regular city council meeting on September 17th, the council signed a pro-NRA proclamation.  This was in response to the San Francisco, California Board of Supervisors unanimously voting to declare the NRA a terrorist organization, a move that has since prompted a lawsuit by the NRA.

Vero Beach Mayor Val Zudans, MD also wrote a scathing letter on official city letterhead  blasting San Francisco’s action against NRA members.  This provoked a columnist from The San Francisco Examiner to publish an opinion piece titled “A letter to the Florida mayor who trashed our fine city of San Francisco”.  

We’re well aware many people have been critical of the NRA, but I’m sure we can all agree NRA members are not terrorists.

The gun control fight has been seeping into towns and cities across the country, from the passage of Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolutions as we’ve seen here in Colorado, to Assault Weapons bans as Boulder passed in 2018, and anti-gun resolutions such as what was just adopted by the city of Longmont on September 10th.

If you discover pro or anti-gun measures being brought up in YOUR cities, please contact us.

Here’s is what the resolution reads: 

WHEREAS, the 11 member City of San Francisco Board of Supervisors in their official government position unanimously declared the National Rifle Association (NRA) a “domestic terrorist organization”; and

WHEREAS, millions of law-abiding American NRA members were labelled terrorists; and

WHEREAS, the First Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the freedom of association and right to petition the government for a redress of grievances; and

WHEREAS, the Fifth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees our right to due process; and

WHEREAS, the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution guarantees equal protection of the laws; and 

WHEREAS, San Francisco’s official government action threatens all of these fundamental Constitutional rights;

WHEREAS,  the National Rifle Association is our stanch defender of these fundamental Constitutional rights and not a domestic terrorist organization.

NOW, THEREFORE, the City Council of the City of Vera Beach, Florida does hereby proclaim the National Rifle Association an extraordinary defender of Americans’ Constitutional Civil Rights.

CLICK HERE to read a PDF of the proclamation.

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Five of Colorado’s Ten Safest Cities Are In This ONE Second Amendment Sanctuary County

Five of Colorado's Ten Safest Cities Are In A Second Amendment Sanctuary County : Rally for our Rights

A list of Colorado’s safest cities based on FBI crime statistics has been released, and five of them are in Second Amendment Sanctuary county, Weld County, including the top spot. Could it be that gun ownership and independent self protection leads to less crime?  More information on data and methodology can be found here.

The top ten safest cities are as follows:

  1. Firestone (Weld)
  2. Louisville (Boulder)
  3. Frederick (Weld)
  4. Golden (Jefferson)
  5. Broomfield (Broomfield)
  6. Windsor (Weld)
  7. Parker (Douglas)
  8. Erie (Weld)
  9. Johnstown (Weld)
  10. Steamboat Springs (Routt)

Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams has led the Second Amendment Sanctuary movement across the state and is an outspoken opponent to Colorado’s poorly written and unconstitutional “Red Flag” ERPO legislation, which ultimately passed by a single vote.  The law will go into effect January 1, 2020.

Five of Colorado's Ten Safest Cities Are In A Second Amendment Sanctuary County : Rally for our Rights

Back in April he stated he’d rather sit in his own jail than enforce such unconstituational orders on the citizens of his county.

“If a judge issues an order saying a person can’t possess weapons, and also compels law enforcement to perform a search warrant to seek out those guns, I believe that’s a violation of a person’s constitutional rights,” Reams said.

“I have a hard choice at that point. I can potentially violate someone’s constitutional rights. Or I can violate a court order. I would rather be on the side of violating a court order than someone’s rights.”

More than 50 of Colorado’s 64 sheriffs opposed HB19-1177, “Red Flag” Extreme Risk Protection Orders ERPO, and 37 counties have declared Second Amendment Sanctuary status.

In addition to having five of the top ten safest cities, Weld county has below state average suicide rates. This is important because Giffords group has been pushing the narrative that Second Amendment Sanctuary counties have the highest suicide rates, a narrative that is parroted by Moms Demand Action.  What they fail to mention is MOST of these counties have very small populations. For example, they are using Custer county’s calculated suicide by firearm rate of 49 per 100,000 people to make their case, but Custer county has a population of 4,900 people and ONE suicide by firearm.

Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams regularly testified to his concern that Colorado’s “Red Flag” legislation as written does nothing to aid those who do need help, and instead sends deputies to confiscate firearms from someone who may be suicidal, while leaving the person in crisis.  Such actions will only escalate and exacerbate a distressing situation.  Compassion may be lost on the gun grabbers, but it is not lost on us.

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