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February 15, 2019 03:18 AM MST

Tom Sullivan Makes Powerful Case for Red Flag Bill

  • by: Colorado Pols
State Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial) speaks about his support for “Red Flag” legislation.

We wrote yesterday about so-called “Red Flag” gun safety legislation (also known as an “extreme risk protection order”) that is returning to the Colorado Legislature. Freshman Rep. Tom Sullivan (D-Centennial) is one of the bill’s sponsors, and on Thursday he delivered a heart-wrenching statement about his personal motivation for supporting the legislation. Sullivan’s son, Alex, was among the 12 people killed in the Aurora Theater Shooting on July 20, 2012.

You can watch Sullivan’s entire statement below via 9News. We have also provided a transcription of Sullivan’s statement, but you should really watch the video — just make sure you have a box of tissues nearby.

State Representative Tom Sullivan (Feb. 14, 2019):

Not many people know how to talk to the parent of a murdered child. Certainly not one whose picture was on the front page of the newspaper, that they have all seen.

I mean, I’m wearing Alex’s jacket right now. I wear this jacket every day when I take the bus on in here. Because he’s with me. And I can feel him in me. And maybe that scares some of them.

But I’m not doing this for Alex and my family. I’m doing it for yours. Because this is as bad as you think it is. Watching your child’s body drop into the ground is as bad as it gets. And I’m going to do everything I can to make sure that none of you have to do that.

And I don’t care what Party you belong to. I don’t care what gender you are. I don’t care what country you came from. I’m going to do everything until this jacket falls off of me. I’m working every day to do this.


4 thoughts on “Tom Sullivan Makes Powerful Case for Red Flag Bill

  1. The formula used to be "a good guy with a gun."

    Now, the Republicans are going to shifting to "a guy with a gun — because there are good people on both sides."

    Frankly, if a family member, friend or professional consider someone dangerous enough to spend time applying for the process of seizing weapons AND a judge signs off on their request, a short separation makes sense.  If the gun owner wants to contest the judgment, the follow-up session before a judge comes quickly.

    The law won't do a great deal.  Maryland, with 6 million people, had 114 requests in the first month of their red flag law.  Judges granted 70.  After the brief period, 36 got a final order, barring an individual from having a gun for up to a year.

    1. "The law won't do a great deal"

      The law will save lives. That's a great deal, IMHO. 

      "courts across the country have issued more than 1,700 gun seizure orders in the year since the Parkland massacre, most of them in Florida."


      Tom is one big reason that ERPO will pass this year and will stay on the books.

      Will the gunnut RMGO mount a recall effort against him?




      1. I'm all in favor of the law — but don't expect it will do a great deal to the homicide or suicide rates. 

        As with protection orders, the confiscation will constrain some, but mostly will work on those willing to obey the court orders.  Those intent on homicide or suicide will need to take the extra step of finding a weapon. There are too many weapons in circulation to expect someone dedicated to acting to find it impossible to get a weapon.

        1. No Access Effects of Risk-Based Firearm Seizure Laws in Connecticut and Indiana on Suicide Rates, 1981–2015

          "Indiana’s firearm seizure law was associated with a 7.5% reduction in firearm suicides in the ten years following its enactment

          Enactment of Connecticut’s law was associated with a 1.6% reduction in firearm suicides immediately after its passage and a 13.7% reduction in firearm suicides in the post–Virginia Tech period, when enforcement of the law substantially increased.

          Regression-based sensitivity analyses showed that these findings were robust to alternative specifications."

          Only 1.6%?
          Each journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.

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