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April 12, 2019 12:44 PM UTC

Popular, Misunderstood "Red Flag" Bill Signed Into Law

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Denver7’s Blair Miller:

The Deputy Zackari Parrish III Violence Protection Act will officially go into law on Jan. 1, 2020, which is also the deadline law enforcement agencies statewide will have to adopt either model policies and procedures that are in the works or their own…

[Douglas County Sheriff Tony] Spurlock discussed how supportive Parrish’s parents were of the measure, which Spurlock began pushing for last year after Parrish was shot and killed on New Year’s Eve 2017 by a man who the department knew had a history of mental health issues and several weapons.

“For a father who lost his son and see it that way is inspiring to me and should be for to everyone in the state of Colorado. Because his concern is for other people,” Spurlock said of Parrish’s father. “And when I had that conversation with him … I knew then that I was doing the right thing to stand for this. … As the governor said, we can save lives. We can save lives today, tomorrow and the next day. And, most importantly, if we save one life, we create history for that family.”


Gov. Jared Polis (D).

As the Denver Post’s John Aguilar reports:

Beginning in January, Colorado judges will have the power to temporarily remove firearms from people believed to be at high risk of harming themselves or others, joining more than a dozen other states that have put into law some type of red-flag bill.

Gov. Jared Polis signed House Bill 1177 on Friday at the state Capitol, after nearly two months of contentious legislative hearings marked by a familiar partisan divide over the issue of gun control.

Proponents of the extreme risk protection order bill say it could be instrumental in reducing the likelihood of another mass shooting while at the same time cutting down on the number of suicides in Colorado. Second Amendment backers say the law runs the risk of depriving Coloradans of their constitutional right to bear arms when it takes effect Jan. 1.

The signing of House Bill 19-1177 into law today brings to a close another ugly debate over gun policy in Colorado, riddled with misinformation intended to incite anger among gun owners and provoke political retaliation against majority Democrats. The legislation, which allows family members or law enforcement to go before a judge and prove to an evidentiary standard that a person represents a significant risk to themselves or others and temporarily remove firearms from that person’s custody, already exists in over a dozen other states where its judicious use has saved lives.

The reality of this legislation and expected very limited utilization–170 cases per year as estimated in the bill’s fiscal note–has very little relationship to the wild arguments that have been made against the bill by gun lobby opponents. Much like the far-out claims in 2013 that guns laws passed that year would result in “gun confiscation” and that “no one in Colorado can ever get a magazine again,” the gun lobby terrorized their grassroots base this year with baseless warnings of vengeful spying neighbors and bumper-sticker raids by police–none of which are rational outcomes of the bill.

The truth is that over 80% of Colorado voters support a “red flag” law, and none of the changes from 2018’s version justify the partisan closing of ranks we saw over the bill this year. The political reality is that Republicans who supported the legislation in 2018 peeled off under intense pressure from Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, who helped Democrats take down Rep. Cole Wist and Attorney General candidate George Brauchler as punishment for supporting the bill last year. And make no mistake: Brauchler started backing away from the bill even before he lost the election last fall, having nothing to do with changes in the bill’s language. RMGO’s willingness to tear down fellow Republicans rather than compromise, even at the expense of their own agenda in helping replace Wist with an ardent supporter of gun control, was enough to chill further dissent.

Now, Democrats have the job of cutting through that misinformation. After 2013 we expect they get the urgency.


41 thoughts on “Popular, Misunderstood “Red Flag” Bill Signed Into Law

  1. Oh, man, . . . 

    . . . this is sure gonna’ put someone’s Portuguesean pantyhose in a twist!!??

    Good on you all, Governor, Democratic legislators, and DougoCo Sheriff Tony Spurlock! 

    It’s gonna’ be a long weekend of piss and moan by Negev . . . 

        1. Negev is laughing his ass off and selling AR 15s as fast as he can fill out the forms.

          "The pinkos are taking your guns away.  Buy them while you can!"

           it works every time.

          Enjoy your new Porsche, Negev.  You earned it.


        I did! You didn't. This says that an Extreme Risk Protection Order can be served before the respondent can defend themselves in court. (i.e. guilty based on someone else's word, and then the respondent has to prove their innocence in court.)


        1. People are arrested and put in jail before they get due process.  

          Why do you want people who display violent tendencies to have access to deadly weapons?  I guess you're okay with people getting killed.  

        2. You got a major reading comprehension problem, Noodlesoup.  That doesn 't mean you're guilty.  It means they might take your gun away while they study the video of you swing ing naked from the chandelier and beheading your neighbor's cat with your Samurai sword.  

          Generally speaking , if they catch you robbing a bank they take your gun away before the trial as well.  If you're acquitted, you'll get the gun back.  But usually, they let you keep the money you stole to pay the lawyer.

          Overall, it doesn't seem fair to the cat, but that's the way i t works sometimes.

          Now, dry your tears.  The adults are trying to have a conversation.



            1. Really?  Dave Kopel?  We should heed some Independence Institute flunkie who has his own agenda?  You can't even come up with some credible source for the argument against Red Flag?

              Anything to allow entitled assholes to have the means to kill whoever they want, right poison vamp?  

            2. You’re new here, so let me help you out with a little advice . . . 

              . . . it doesn’t help your discredited assertions to cite a source even less credible than you, here. (Even though you’re probably used to that always working with the kiddies at the Dudleydoos . . .)

              . . . you’re welcome.

              1. Let me get this straight, there has been no evidence to the contrary provided, people have resorted to name calling, and nit picking because I mistyped one word, looks like a hit a nerve because oh my someone doesn't agree with you. 

                I never said I was completely against the idea of the bill. Or that killing people is alright. What I have a problem with is the constant reuse of bills that Bloombergs lawyers wrote up. If you look at every measure that has passed in Colorado about firearms, they are copies of bills used in other states, written by the people who have said in public that they want to outright ban firearms. 

                And for those that like to use cars as an example you are comparing apples to oranges. I see no mention of an automobile in the Constitution. Driving is a privilege not a right.

                1. You mean it is a privilege to be shot to death?…not a right?
                  Or…is it the other way around?
                  Truthfully, if your main objection is that it was written by Bloombergs’ lawyers, you have pretty much identified yourself.

        3. the responded


          Just what the world needed: another vacuous Internet lolyer.

          Ex parte civil protection orders have been available in this state for decades, chief. Do those offend your sensibilities as well?

          1. Ain't no parte gonna offend my sensibilities, even if a couple of my exes are there.  Be sure to invite Dora, a few shots of tequila and she's good to go!

          2. Guy wants to act like he knows the Constitution and the meaning of due process and he can't even refer to the person in question as "the respondent".

        4. Ummmmmm . . . Excuse me, Lionel Hutz, but . . .

          . . . can you think of one instance where a respondent would ever be defending themselves in court prior to being served??

          (Here’s a little hint: What do you think a “respondent” might be, um, respondenting to? . . . )

  2. Red flag laws are saving lives…in

    Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Rhode Island and Vermont have adopted variations. California, Connecticut, Indiana, Oregon and Washington already had similar laws.

    In Florida, they took guns away from the younger brother of Niko Cruz (Parkland Shooter). Lil bro was talking about shooting up the high school again.

    The Connecticut law reduced gun suicides by 10%.

    In Maryland, 4 potential school shooters lost their access to weapons. They had made credible threats, posted them online, etc. How many lives did that save?

    Colorado's law is named after Deputy Zackari Parrish, a young officer shot by an armed, mentally ill person. Everyone knew the shooter was nuts; everyone knew he was armed and dangerous. Nobody did anything about it. Zack Parrish died.

    Nationwide, women suffering from domestic violence are 5x as likely to be killed when their partner has a firearm. In any given month, 50 women will be shot to death by current or former partner.

    Do these lives matter to you?



    1. So your link to "are saving lives" lists nothing about how many of those petitions were false,  it mentions a 1000 orders in 9 months, but only one that might have stop an event. In addition it mentions a reduction in gun related suicides, but what about suicides in general, and suicide by other means?

      Unfortunately I can not review the "50 women" link from work as the site is blocked.

      1. Your biases are evident when you ask "How many of those petitions were false?" Your assumption is that judges just hand ERPOs out on a whim or a say-so, instead of on what the law requires, which is careful judicial review based on evidence.  

        What evidence? The Miami Herald article listed several types:

        Documented threats of suicide

        Documented threats of harm to others


        Social media posts threatening harm

        It is not just the act of owning a firearms collection, as you gunheads fear. 

        And the penalties for making a false report in Miami were severe for the accuser, as they are with Colorado's law.

        Is not a reduction in gun related suicides a good thing? That deals with the population you'd be most concerned with, as an advocate for gun fanciers; elderly white males tend to be the ones who choose suicide by firearm. 

        The link to "50 women a month killed by intimate partner with a firearm" is easily accessible from the FBI supplementary homicide report database. Run your own query. Here's mine:

        It looks as though the current monthly rate of women killed by guns is above 150/ month.

        Data: homicides, last 9 years available data,  sex/race/age of offender = all, sex of victim = female, weapon used = firearm.

        I can already predict your next argument: Since so many people die from other homicidal methods, why pick on guns? Because we do care about saving lives. Your people don’t care about that – they care about their property rights. So, not a lot of common ground. Your username indicates that you’re female – you’re probably advocating that women can protect themselves from violence by walking around armed at all times. I don’t want to go into the stats on that in this post, but do consider the rates of accidental gun discharge nd all of the young kids and innocent bystanders killed.

  3. Personally, I wish they would take away the guns AND lock up the person, but that's just me.

    As for analogs

    — there are court ordered 72 hour holds for non-gun related risks when someone is considered a threat to themselves or others;

    — cars are towed to an impound lot for being parked in the wrong place or just being in the way of a snow plow or if a driver appears to be impaired.

    — there are restraining orders issued to block a parent or both parents from seeing or caring for kids.

    1. Yeah, but if there were a copy of Guns & Ammo magazine on the front seat of that illegally parked car, the gun nuts would be complaining that they are protected under the Second Amendment.

  4. Poisonvamp….you are incorrect on how you state this!

    For an emergency ERPO, the petitioner has to prove by preponderance of the evidence that the respondent is dangerous to self or others.  That protection order lasts at most 14 days.  It is similar to what is done in domestic violence and child protection cases.

    Before the end of the 14 days, the petitioner must show by clear and convincing evidence that the person continues to be a risk.  The respondent is PRESENT at this hearing and has a lawyer provided to him/her by the state. That ERPO can last up to 364 days.  If the petitioner can not meet this high standard of proof, the guns are returned to the owner.

    The respondent may appeal the ERPO one time in that 364 days.  At that time, it is his/her responsibility to show by clear and convincing evidence that he is okay. The judge can even give a stay on this hearing if he/she feels the respondent is on the way to recovery from dangerous and threatening behaviors.

    You seem to pick up on Sen. Owen Hill's argument on the senate floor, repeatedly misreading the bill and even offering amendments to correct what was not wrong in the bill.

    Colorado Ceasefire has worked on this concept for nearly 3 years, and it is the outgrowth a failed bill dealing with guns and mental health in 2013.  Clearly, the Aurora shooter had serious behavioral health issues, as did the Planned Parenthood Shooter, the Arapahoe High School shooter, the Colorado Springs Halloween shooter.  It is well past time that we provide tools to law enforcement and families to protect themselves and their communities.

    Frankly, I am sick and tired of the misrepresentations of the bill.

    Oh yes….this type of measure has been found constitutional in two other states, has plenty of due process provisions, and the seizure portion is not a violation of the US Constitution.  4th amendment prohibits "unreasonable searches and seizures."  Nothing unreasonable about this when a person is frightening the bejesus out of his family. 

    Deputy Zackari Parrish's family was quite supportive of the bill,. If this had been in place at that time, Parrish would be alive today.  (The shooter's mother had tried and failed to remove his guns…the ones he used to murder Parrish and critically injure another deputy,.

    Be more careful in your reading.


    1. Practical. Reasonable. Facty. and convinced; passionate.

      But I gotta say this crowd tends to react to a more obnoxious, fiery response. And in general I have to say that posters like poisonv generally aren't repsonseive to facts and reality. It's more about feeling  and self validation. Like people want to be convinced about what they have already chosen to believe. So, if there's a resonse, I expect some name calling and over-reaction to insane liberal overreach. Or something.

      Besides, guns are good. So people who own them should not be infringed. And no way this overreachy law stops anyone who wants one from having a gun, right?



      1. Practical. Reasonable. Facty. and convinced; passionate. Admirable.


        Be more careful in your reading.

        . . . But, how in the heck am I ever gonna’ get that on a bumper sticker, or the front of a baseball cap, so that my neighbor, his poisonvamp buddies, and Colorado’s Republican legislators, can read it???

        (I mean, those Senators in particular, are probably going to need someone to read it aloud, slowly before they could even start to consider it . . .)

    2. Good summary of the bill, doremi. Some of us like facts and passionate reporting, and aren't worried about whether the wingnuts will be persuaded by it. (They won't, but some low-information and undecided voters will).


    3. "Courts have identified seven key elements in procedural due process:

      1. Notice

      2. A neutral decision-maker

      3. An opportunity to make an oral presentation

      4. The opportunity to present evidence

      5. The opportunity to cross-examine witnesses and respond to evidence

      6. Right to representation by counsel

      7. A decision based on the record, and reasoning for the result.

      Rogin v. Bensalem Township, 616 F.2d 680, 694 (3d Cir. 2010).19"

      In the case of Colorado legislation, the notice can be served at the same time firearms are to be surrendered.  The respondent does not have the opportunity to do 3,4,5, or 6 before this happens. And the respondent may never have the opportunity to do 5 because the person petitioning never has to show up in court under some circumstances. I can see this being misued. And while the law states a false claim can result in perjury it's my opinion that this will probably be enforced as much as lying the the ATF 4473 form. Which is a felony, but rarely if ever prosecuted:

      1. See, this is why one shouldn't accept at face value legal conclusions in documents penned by liars such as Dave Kopel.

        Your homework assignment is to find Rogin (Kopel cited the case incorrectly, but that shouldn't slow you down much) and read it. After that, report back to us regarding the outcome-determinative distinctions between Rogin and the circumstance under discussion, provide an essay on the actual test for determining what process is due pursuant to procedural due process precepts, and describe why Kopel's suggestion that all 7 of the listed factors apply in all cases is utterly bereft of truth.

  5. MADCO,

    Actually, when a person is under an ERPO, they are prevented from purchasing firearms.  

    Now, some would say that they could them illegally through straw purchases. But why would that happen?  Only because there are some gun owners who are not law abiding citizens. Alas, ‘Tis true.  

    1. If by "straw" you mean… through Craigslist or at a gun show or in another state or from the cousin/neighbor/gun dude down the street, sure.

      And I would guess the percentage of gun owners who are law abiding is about the same as the rest of the population. And I would also guess it declines when the law is about taking and restricting guns.

  6. Congrats to my new state representative Tom Sullivan for cosponsoring this legislation. It has been a painful personal journey for him.  I admire his courage and perseverance.

      1. 1. I think that all the fluoridated water that you have consumed has rotted out the toleration portion of your brain.

        2. I read the brief at the link. I only meet one of the criteria: An arrogant or belligerent attitude."

        3. I am pretty sure that my Illuminati membership will help protect me.

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