“Red Flag” Wins Final State Senate Passage

Sens. Brittany Pettersen, Lois Court (D).

A press release from the Senate sponsors of House Bill 19-1177, the long-debated bill to create a process to temporarily remove firearms from persons found by a judge to be a danger to themselves or others that won final passage in the Colorado Senate today:

The Colorado State Senate today voted 18-to-17 to pass HB19-1177, Extreme Risk Protection Orders, a bill sponsored by Senators Lois Court (D-Denver) and Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood) that will save lives by allowing family members and law enforcement to request a court order to temporarily remove firearms from someone who is deemed a danger to themselves or to others. The bill now heads back to the House of Representatives for consideration of amendments.

“After years of working to pass similar legislation, I am proud that the Senate has finally voted to advance a commonsense gun safety bill that will ultimately save the lives of Coloradans and law enforcement officers,” said Senator Court. “Thoughts and prayers don’t save lives, but extreme risk protection orders will, and I look forward to seeing it signed into law.”

“This bill is supported by an overwhelming majority of Coloradans, and outside of this building, it is not controversial,” said Senator Pettersen. “We passed this bill and did what is right for our law enforcement, domestic violence survivors, our kids who just want to feel safe when they go to school, and the countless family members who have lost someone to unnecessary gun violence.”

HB19-1177 is named in honor of Douglas County Deputy Sheriff Zackari Parrish III who was killed on duty in 2017 by an individual whose mental health concerns were well-known to others around him. This legislation would give law enforcement and family members the opportunity to seek a temporary order for someone who appears at risk of dangerous behavior.

To successfully block firearm access, a petitioner would have to demonstrate a preponderance of evidence that the individual poses a significant threat to themselves or others by possessing a firearm. After a petition is filed, a court would place a temporary order for up to two weeks until a hearing determines whether a full protection order is appropriate. A full protection order could then be approved for up to 364 days.

Although Senate President Leroy Garcia voted as expected against HB19-1177, the rest of the Democratic caucus held together and sent the bill by an 18-17 vote back to the House for one more reconciliation stop before heading to Gov. Jared Polis’ desk and his expected signature. Garcia could have utilized his power as Senate President to override the majority ready to pass the bill but commendably chose not to–insulating himself politically from any potential fallout back home in Pueblo but not standing in the way of one of the biggest Democratic priorities of the session.

It’s fully expected that Republicans and the gun lobby will respond with maximum outrage to final passage of a red flag bill, and the legislation is already part of the rubric of those who want to organize a recall either of legislators or Gov. Polis. Now that the bill is passed, proponents now have the task of demystifying the legislation and reminding the short-attention-span media about the overwhelming support for the bill expressed in public polling. Despite the angry bluster from the right, it’s by no means a given that this legislation will provoke the same degree of backlash seen in 2013 against that year’s gun laws. As we’ve discussed at length in this space, the issue and the electorate have both evolved considerably.

What we can say with certainty is that a big Democratic campaign promise is about to be kept.

21 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. unnamed says:

    And to the people mad about this, to quote Poddy Mouth:

    Fuck off sore losers

  2. Gilpin Guy says:

    This is big.  Senate Democrats can walk and chew gum at the same time.  Good for them to step up and get this on the books.

    The big backlash is going to come when one of the 2nd Amendment sanctuary sheriffs declines to carry out a court order and the red flagged individual goes on a killing rampage.  That is going to be some white hot outrage.

  3. mamajama55 says:

    Garcia could have utilized his power as Senate President to override the majority ready to pass the bill but commendably chose not to–insulating himself politically from any potential fallout back home in Pueblo but not standing in the way of one of the biggest Democratic priorities of the session.

    "Commendably chose not to"? More like, preserved his ability to lead his caucus at all. And I don't think it's  certain that he will escape potential fallout back home in Pueblo. Forget AR-packing, obese Pueblo Firearm Fetishists – he'd have to face the Democratic activists of Pueblo. A much bigger, more determined, and less distractible crowd. Pueblo gunheads might be nuts – but the Democratic activists remember everything.

    At any rate, I'm glad 1177 passed the Senate. Hopefully, the House will clarify the language of "delivery" of the ERPOs even more, ED: send it on back to the Senate for round II , then on for Polis' signature.

    ERPOs will save some lives, as they have in other states.


  4. Diogenesdemar says:

    It’s gotta’ be “in the middle of the night” somewhere? . . . 

  5. Davie says:

    But then you have gun owners like this that give honest, patriotic 'muricans like Negev nightmares

    I gave up my gun; why are Americans mad at me for it?

    For New Zealanders, it’s not a big deal. I treat my guns practically: They’re useful tools for rabbits or I birds or pests. I still have a bolt action rifle and shotgun. They’ll get the job done. A few New Zealanders do have an emotional attachment to their firearms, as they might with any piece of equipment that had served them well over a lifetime. But no one sees gun ownership — much less semiautomatic rifle ownership — as an essential component of their identity.

    Thumbs up to your comment, Michael. Replying here because as others have found, the site doesn’t seem to like Safari or other non-Linux browsers? At least I can edit my own comment.


  6. Genghis says:

    Good deal. Sen. Garcia managed to give the gun nuts in his district a slow, comfortable fellating without torpedoing the bill. 

  7. Gray in Mountains says:

    I pledge that I will support my local legislators who are voting yes. I do expect  the campaigns in '20 to be heated and couched in the most extreme language of 2A.

    I won't be surprised if any recalls fail primarily because Nevilles are running the fundraising and I think they're most interested in controlling the GOP so one of them might become king so they'll keep the $ closely controlled


    • mamajama55 says:

      The Nevilles are to date only trying to recall three legislators: Rep. Rochelle Galindo in Greeley, Rep. Meg Froelich in District 3,  and Senator Jeff Bridges in District 26.  They're not going after Polis; they're only choosing seats in which the legislators are perceived to be vulnerable.

      Rochelle Galindo is vulnerable because she prioritizes public health over oil and gas development in Greeley. Also, she is an out lesbian in an environment in which the right wing is spreading homophobic slurs implying that gay legislators are using the health/sex ed bill to "recruit" little children. Yes, it's despicable, but that's what they're doing. And they only need ~6,000 signatures to get a recall for Galindo on the ballot. To date, though, there is no recall petition filed.

      Froelich and Bridges are perceived to be vulnerable because they were appointed to their seats in a last-minute "musical chairs" caper after Senator Kagan resigned over accusations that he used the wrong bathroom. I shit thee not. What is it about the RWNJs and bathrooms?

      At any rate, the Nevilles are funded to the tune of well over a million dollars at this point and cranking out the propaganda nonstop.

      So I wouldn't bet on the recalls failing. Galindo won Greeley with the largest margin and voter turnout ever, but chances are that she will face a recall. We need to support her, and the others Neville has targeted, in any ways we can.


      • JohnInDenver says:

        Nevilles are NOT YET going after Polis — but if they think there is a buck and some additional email addresses to harvest, I bet they will in July.

        • mamajama55 says:

          By July, the turf war between the ResistPolis PAC and "Official Recall Polis" groups will have a clear winner. They're still battling it out now, though. And….there still is no way either group can recall Polis. Distract, divide, propagandize, and yes, raise beaucoup dark money dollars for other issues and other recall elections, yes.  Recall Polis, no. 

          Even with the one leg. seat for which the Nevilles stand a chance of actually running a recall election, that of Rochelle Galindo in HD50, there are two competing recall committees. So they'll get in each other's way there, too  Thank Goddess for RWNJ divisiveness, purity complexes, and poor communication skills.

          As far as email addresses, my hunch is that it's mostly the same pool of people – that ~ 30% of gas patch residents who believe that there are millions of gas and oil jobs and AR15s that mean Democrats just want to snatch up.

          Unaffiliated voters in these counties broke strongly for Democrats – a little fact that these folks haven't internalized yet.



  8. Conserv. Head Banger says:

    Rule of law means nothing to those counties who say they won't enforce this law when it is signed by the governor.

    • Voyageur says:

      Counties that refuse to enforce valid state laws should lose their funding from the state Highway Users Trust Fund.  They'll cave in a week.

    • The realist says:

      Sad but true, there will eventually be a "body count" in the counties (Fremont and others) in which officials have gone on record as refusing to enforce ERPO. There will definitely be preventable suicides, and likely preventable homicides. 

      • Duke Cox says:

        How about revoking the state charter for non-compliant counties and have them annexed into a compliant county. Like…Weld county could become Boulder County East. 

        Could THAT happen?

        • mamajama55 says:

          Half of Weld County (the UNC, Democrat, immigrant, and refugee parts) would love to be Boulder East.  For the die-fracking -the-last-drop crowd, that would be a nightmare come true.

        • JohnInDenver says:

          I'm a small government sort of person … so I don't think the state should act to deprive counties to punish them after they are stooopid.

          I think the wrongful death suits damage awards and settlements, where officers are acting outside the rule of law, should be sufficient to motivate local voters to judge the actions of their elected officials.

  9. doremi says:


    Yikes!  No way back to the senate!  House should concur to senate amendments and on to the governor.

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