|SIGforum's Indian |
Off the Reservation
Thanks for the updates guys! And thanks for the link above Storm. I'll be attending the next Commissioners meeting in Huerfano County, where I know the "activist," a couple Commissioners, and the Sheriff mentioned in the article. I shall make my, and many others viewpoints known in helping to make our county a 2A Sanctuary County.
The Red Flag bill has been introduced into the Senate and has been assigned to be heard by the State, Veterans, & Military Affairs committee on Friday 3-15-19.
Please keep those letters, phone calls, and emails coming to the elected reps!
Elbert County, Colorado:
The sheriff and county commissioners will be taking up the issue on Wednesday. 13 March 2019.
If you go: 9:00am, Wednesday, March 13 – BOCC conference room at 215 Comanche St. Kiowa, CO 80117. You can contact the commissioners to express your support here.
Text of the resolution is available here.
Add Douglas, Dolores, Teller, and El Paso to the list of counties protesting the Red Flag bill with 18 CO counties so far and more considering passing similar measures.
It hadn't occurred to me until after reading this article, but for those counties declaring themselves "sancturary" or otherwise protecting constitutional rights this declaration only applies to the unincorporated areas of the county and any incorporated cities within that "sanctuary" county may still follow the provisions of the Red Flag bill if it is passed.
According to this article El Paso county and Sheriff Elder have taken a "middle of the road" approach and will serve any court orders they are ordered to serve BUT will not serve or execute a search warrant or confiscate any guns.
[I bolded a portion of the article for emphasis. Comments at the linked article]
El Paso County declared 'Second Amendment preservation county' as Legislature weighs red flag gun bill
El Paso County declared 'Second Amendment preservation county' as Legislature weighs red flag gun bill
By: Rachel Riley Mar 12, 2019
El Paso County commissioners unanimously passed a resolution Tuesday declaring the county a “Second Amendment preservation county,” cementing their opposition to a red flag gun bill in the Legislature.
House Bill 1177 would allow temporary seizure of guns from people whom a court deems to be a risk to themselves or others.
But commissioners say it wouldn't address mental health issues often at the root of gun violence, and it violates people's constitutional rights, including the right to bear arms and the right to due process.
"I’m saddened that, as a local elected official, I’m even faced with a resolution to affirm a right that was guaranteed in our Constitution,” said commissioner Cami Bremer. “I honestly believe that this bill was crafted by well-meaning people, but that does not make it a good bill.”
In the resolution, commissioners demand “that the Legislature cease and desist any further actions restricting the Second Amendment rights of citizens” and threaten legal action if the law is enacted. The resolution also says commissioners will not "appropriate funds, resources, employees or agencies to initiate unconstitutional seizures in unincorporated El Paso County.”
Half a dozen other Colorado counties, including Fremont and Weld, have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries in response to the red flag bill. Teller County commissioners resolved Thursday to “protect the inalienable and individual right to keep and bear arms in Teller County.”
Before El Paso County commissioners approved their resolution, several residents asked them not to challenge the red flag bill, saying it could prevent suicides and other firearms deaths.
“I do not understand why you, as the Board of County Commissioners, don’t want to save lives,” said resident Deborah Griffin, who said similar laws have prevented suicides in more than a dozen other states.
Jillian Freeland, a county resident and sociologist, testified that she was “afraid that we are playing identity politics with the lives in our community by refusing to enforce a piece of legislation that is coming down through officials elected by the people of Colorado.”
“This puts our community at risk, and it does not uphold our Constitution,” said Freeland, adding that she owns several guns
But many others urged the commissioners to oppose the bill, calling it a thinly veiled attempt to take guns from citizens.
“You must protect the individual rights of individual citizens,” resident Roger Oakey told commissioners.
Under the red flag bill, "clear and convincing evidence" of a person's danger would have to be presented in a hearing. Weapons then could be held for up to 364 days while the person gets treatment, which can be court-ordered. To recover the guns, the person must prove "beyond a reasonable doubt" that he no longer poses a danger.
Sheriff Bill Elder said the county will seek a court-ordered injunction to stop the law from taking effect Jan. 1, if the governor signs the bill.
The Sheriff’s Office would serve any court orders issued under the new law, as it does temporary protection orders, and instruct the individual to surrender any firearms to a licensed dealer, sheriff’s spokeswoman Jacqueline Kirby said in a statement. But the agency would not search a residence for guns or store surrendered guns, Kirby said.
District Attorney Dan May told commissioners that he supports the concept behind the bill, but it’s a flawed proposal that “shifts the burden of proof” to firearms owners, who must prove that they are mentally fit to have a gun.
“I support the idea of taking guns out of the hands of people who are mentally ill and pose a danger to society. But this bill does not accomplish those ends,” May said.
Commissioner Holly Williams echoed May’s concerns, saying, “This is a country where we are innocent until proven guilty. And this bill states, ‘You are guilty, and you have to prove your innocence.’ That is unacceptable in my mind.”
But Dr. Erik Wallace said that burden of proof is on the petitioner who is seeking to have a person declared dangerous. The proposal does “not violate the Second Amendment rights of anyone who is not in immediate danger of killing themselves or anyone else,” said Wallace, associate dean for the University of Colorado School of Medicine's branch in Colorado Springs.
A county news release noted that the resolution only applies to unincorporated areas, as the commission cannot set policy for any city in the county, such as Colorado Springs or Fountain.
The Colorado Springs Police Department “will not discuss pending legislation,” said spokesman Howard Black.
Colorado Politics contributed to this article.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Modern Day Savage,
Apologies for not updating sooner. Lots going on and I'm sure most following this thread know that the legislature is ramming one bad piece of legislation after another through making it difficult to stay on top of the various bills and the associated news articles and radio/ podcast interviews...I wish I could find a way to make a living tracking/ reporting on these issues, but as it is now there are only so many hours in a day to stay on top of all the legislation that the Democrat controlled legislature is smacking us with...and from the update I just got there are even more bad bills coming down the pike in the next few days.
The Red Flag bill has been further revised by the Senate but in the few minutes I've had to skim it I wouldn't consider any of them particularly noteworthy.
The ERPO Red Flag bill is scheduled to a third and final reading in the Senate on Monday March 25th. If passed as predicted look for the bill to reach the Governor's desk later this week and, if his previous pattern of signing controversial bills is any indication, look for him to sign it behind closed doors with little publicity on a Friday evening right before the weekend.
Please continue to call, write, and email your opposition to this bill...and if you already have then it can't hurt to hit 'em again. Let's turn up the heat on 'em!
DA George Braucler filled in on KHOW on Friday March 22 for Dan Caplis and interviewed three of the Sheriffs regarding the ERPO bill. I thought some might find the varying viewpoints and the policies the respective sheriffs were going to adopt for their counties interesting, should the bill become law.
Douglas County Sheriff Spurlock interview (Sheriff Spurlock supports the Red Flag bill)
Weld County Sheriff Reams interview
El Paso County Sheriff Elder interview
Yet one more point of damning evidence of the onerous intentions behind the crafting of this version of the ERPO bill, and by just now noting it I'm revealing my lack of legal knowledge, but when I read the first version of the bill I had noted a "Safety Clause" provision at the end of the bill, but at the time I thought it was merely an attempt by the writers to provide supposed justification for the need for such a bill...uh....nope...I was wrong.
In catching some other interviews on both the Red Flag bill, as well as some others, I'm learning that the Democrat writers added this clause intentionally.
Colorado law provides that, if a bill is signed into law and is largely unsupported by the voters that through a (successful) petition process it can be prevented from going into effect. However, if the bill writers include a Safety Clause in the wording this blocks any such effort by the citizens to counter the bill. Obviously those ramming this bill through anticipated the stong opposition to it.
It wasn't until I re-listened to the Brauchler interview with Sheriff Reams that I caught the significance of it. Apologies for missing this aspect and not catching it sooner.
I think that only applies to a simple repeal via referendum. I don't think it applies to a citizen initiated constitutional amendment.
Remember that constitutional amendment on the 2016 ballot, making it more difficult to get a citizen initiated amendment on the ballot? I railed against that, because I knew that was going to screw conservatives in the state. There were many conservatives vocally supporting that amendment, claiming it was going to stop the liberals from dominating Colorado. We only ended up screwing ourselves.
Loyalty Above All Else, Except Honor
I finally grabbed a few moments to do a cursory search and came up with this excerpt from the Colorado.gov site
The Legislative Process
Safety clause. Another common clause found at the end of bills is a safety clause. This clause originates in the initiative and referendum provisions of the state constitution. The state constitution provides that a law may be referred by petition to the people for approval "except as to laws necessary for the immediate preservation of the public peace, health or safety." To preclude this procedure, the safety clause is included in a bill. Or, the General Assembly can elect not to include a safety clause, which allows the voters to petition the measure onto the ballot.
So, status update on the Red Flag bill.
The Red Flag bill was held over in the Senate for the last 4 days, as the Republicans, left with no other means to oppose the rapid pace the Democrats have set in ramming one pernicious bill after another through have resorted to parliamentary tools to drag their heels and slow the pace down.
Also, a couple interesting developments in that the Senate Democrat President from Pueblo decided to oppose the bill and the Denver Police union also came out against the Red Flag bill...but all this was to no avail.
The Senate passed the measure on the third reading today and this is the bill with Senate amendments being sent back to the House for approval.
Colorado Senate passes red flag bill in 18-17 vote; bill heads back to House for concurrence
Senate president votes against measure
Posted: 3:08 PM, Mar 28, 2019 Updated: 3:42 PM, Mar 28, 2019
By: Blair Miller
DENVER – The Colorado Senate voted Thursday to pass the controversial red flag extreme risk protection order bill on an 18-17 vote, with Senate President Leroy Garcia, D-Pueblo, joining Republicans in opposing the measure.
The final Senate vote came after about five hours of debate, as Republicans continued to characterize the measure as a power grab and violation of people’s constitutional rights and Democrats attempted to fight off what they said were mischaracterizations.
Democrats passed the bill without Garcia and with no Republican votes in support of the measure. Garcia told The Pueblo Chieftain earlier this week in announcing he would oppose the measure: “I took a hard look at this bill and while I strongly believe in its intent of preventing gun violence, this is simply not the right legislation for the people of Pueblo and southern Colorado.”
The bill, HB19-1177 , now heads back to the state House so House lawmakers can vote on concurrence with the amendments to the measure that were passed in the Senate. The measure passed the House 38-25 in early March.
Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, is expected to sign the bill should it reach his desk. The measure would allow a judge to order that a person’s firearms be confiscated if they are deemed a risk to themselves or others. The request for a protection order would come from law enforcement or family members. A judge could place a temporary order for up to two weeks on the person until it is decided at a hearing whether a full protection order is necessary. A full protection order could be approved for up to 364 days.
“This bill is supported by an overwhelming majority of Coloradans, and outside of this building, it is not controversial,” said bill sponsor Sen. Brittany Pettersen, D-Lakewood. “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.”
The measure has stirred emotions at the Capitol for a second year in a row and led to a wave of counties – 29 as of Tuesday – declaring themselves “Second Amendment sanctuary counties” or, in Douglas County’s case, a “safe constitutional county.”
The declarations from sheriffs and county commissions have come as a direct result of the measure making its way through the legislature – one of several mostly-Democrat-sponsored bills deemed controversial by Republicans, who are now in the minority in both legislative chambers.
The disagreements over the measures have led to delay tactics from Republicans, who accuse Democrats of trying to ram-through legislation since they have majorities in both chambers and the governor’s office. They have also led to talks of recall petitions for several Democratic lawmakers as well as Polis.
Attorney General Phil Weiser, also a Democrat, testified in committee earlier this month that sheriffs who refuse to follow a possible red flag law should “resign” and said the resolutions attempting to preempt the law “cannot and do not override a valid judicial order implementing state law.”
But Polis did not take as hard of a line earlier this week when he discussed with reporters enforcement of the measure should the law pass.
“Certainly, sheriffs have the ability to prioritize resources with regard to law enforcement. But also, sheriff is not a lawmaking position in our state. It’s a law enforcement division,” he said.
But Polis also told reporters Tuesday he believed that the municipalities tasked with enforcing the law would fall in line.
“I know all sheriffs in Colorado are deeply committed to following the law without prejudice, and I’m confident our sheriffs will live up to the challenge of following the law,” he said.
This is a developing news story and will be updated.
[hyperlinks found in linked article]
Aurora police condemn state’s ‘red flag’ bill hours before Senate gives final OK 18-17
By Quincy Snowdon, staff writer - March 28, 2019
AURORA | Flying in the face of Aurora Police Department brass, the Aurora police union on Thursday announced it is formally opposing the so-called “red flag” bill currently weaving through the state Legislature.
House Bill 19-1177 passed final reading in the state Senate Thursday afternoon on an 18-17 party line vote with Democrats winning the controversial bill.
In a Facebook post published around 9 a.m. on Thursday, the Aurora Police Association wrote it is joining the Denver police union in condemning the bill, which would allow family members and law enforcement officials to petition courts to strip weapons from people deemed to be a threat to themselves or others.
“Our members have clearly expressed to us their concerns about the constitutionality of such legislation and are deeply concerned about the lack of due process in the current bill,” the Aurora union wrote on Facebook. “Police officers understand the value in addressing the real problem, the mental health of individuals in crisis. The problem cannot be successfully addressed by restricting access to tools while ignoring the mental health considerations.”
Judy Lutkin, president of the APA, said an “overwhelming number” of union members have voiced their distaste for the proposed legislation.
The union did not take a formal vote, Lutkin said, but accumulated opinions over the past several weeks. She said the union, in part, was waiting for a final version of the bill to be solidified before forming a stance on the measure.
“It was partially because we were waiting for the final bill,” Lutkin said. “It also took us a bit of time to get a feel from our membership about how they felt about it.
“Obviously taking guns away from people is a difficult thing for police officers, and there is no mental health component in the bill. It is a valuable thing to make sure people who are mentally ill don’t have guns, but in the process of that you have to deal with the people — not just the tools.”
The union’s position is in contrast to that of Aurora police chiefs, who urged the Aurora City Council to formally support the measure in late February. Council members heeded the department’s request to formally grant the bill a thumbs up.
“Mass shootings by offenders in some stage of mental crisis are certainly one reason to pursue such legislation,” APD Deputy Chief Paul O’Keefe told city lawmakers at a council study session. “Perhaps more to the point, nationally, in 2016, there were 44,965 suicides; approximately 50 percent of those were committed with a firearm. In Colorado, there were 1,168 suicides in 2016. Being able to reduce those numbers by removing the tool most used in almost half of the incidents can go a long way toward saving lives and encouraging people to get the help they need.”
Lutkin said she doesn’t believe the union’s contrarian stance will hinder the organization’s relationship with the chief’s office.
“I feel like there’s a pretty good relationship between the union and the chief’s office. We listen to each other, and they’ve heard our concerns,” she said. “We continue to have conversations with them … we don’t agree on everything, but I feel like our chief’s office is supportive of the APA, so this doesn’t change any of that.
”More than half of the Aurora Police Department’s some 700 commissioned police officers are union members, according to Lutkin.
The bill, also known as the “extreme risk protection order bill,” now goes back to the state House for expected approval of Senate amendments. Gov. Jared Polis said he would sign the measure.
Senate President Leroy Garcia, a Pueblo Democrat, made headlines earlier this week when he made clear he would not be voting for the measure, thrusting the proposal’s once solid trajectory to the governor’s desk slightly out of orbit. He was a no vote Thursday.
Centennial state Rep. Tom Sullivan, who’s son Alex died in the theater shooting, is the bill’s primary sponsor.
George Brauchler, the district attorney for the 18th Judicial District who prosecuted the Aurora theater shooting case, has vehemently opposed Sullivan’s measure, regularly sparring with its supporters on social media.
Brauchler supported a previous version of so-called “red flag” legislation introduced in the 2018 legislative session. That bill died in a Republican-led Senate committee late in the session.
The union for the Denver Police Department, the Denver Police Protective Association, formalized its opposition to the so-called red flag measure in a press release issued Wednesday.
The Red Flag bill passed concurrence in the House today
Correction to my last...
I was betting that the Governor would sign the bill yesterday (Friday afternoon), under the "cover" of the Colorado Rockies home opener event to avoid much media coverage...
... while the gun confiscation bill did pass concurrence in the House at this moment the bill still resides in the House.
No one seems to know for certain what the plan is as there is some speculation that the Governor wants to sign it into law during a big media splash, others speculate that he has received a lot of comments opposed to it and is weighing whether to sign it or veto it (I don't buy this guess myself), or another possibility is that if a bill sits on the Governor's desk for 7 days without any action it automatically goes into effect...giving the Governor the ability to say that "he didn't sign it into law" to avoid political heat. It could be a "running the clock out" strategy also. Political gamesmanship appears to be in play.
El Paso county Sheriff Elder is trying to determine at what point in the process he can file for an injunction. Obviously he can't file for an injunction until the bill is signed into law, but after that he is exploring, along with the NRA, on whether the injunction can be filed immediately of if he must wait until he receives the first ERPO order to serve, so that he has legal standing.
Some may recall that when the CO sheriffs signed on to the magazine ban and background check lawsuit they believed that they had legal standing to sue however the court ruled against them and they were removed as plaintiffs, and so now they are a bit cautious as to what point in the process they will have standing. The problem in waiting is that the CSPD will get many more ERPO orders to serve than the EPSO and so it may take a while to get that first order. The CSPD police association recently joined several other Colorado PDs in expressing opposition to this bill.
One other interesting development...apparently the Colorado ACLU has finally protested the ERPO bill for lack of due process and apparently there is some discussion of them getting involved in the legal fight if the bill should become law.
Red flag laws are harmful to more than just the Second Amendment
By JAY STOOKSBERRY
The gun control debate is fired up in Colorado again. Both sides are heated over House Bill 1177, which codifies the use of extreme risk protection orders (ERPO).
The Colorado House approved HB1177 Monday and sent the so-called red flag bill to Gov. Jared Polis, who has indicated he will sign it.
Even if you don't identify with either side of this debate, it is not hard to see how deeply flawed this legislation is. Red flag laws are menacing threat to many constitutional rights other than the Second Amendment.
First, it helps to explain what exactly this law proposes. Let's assume you are concerned about your uncle, who uttered some troubling comments. You're worried that he is a danger to himself and others — and you know he owns firearms. You, the petitioner, file an affidavit claiming such things, and quickly meet with a judge. The judge reviews your claims and decides on whether or not to issue the ERPO. If an ERPO is issued, your uncle, the responder, is then forced to turn in his guns.
For starters, this whole scenario blurs the line between civil and criminal legal actions. Your uncle has committed no crime, but somehow warrants a judicial order and a knock on the door (if he is lucky) by the police. If the language of this bill was purely criminal, it would be dead on arrival; it's no accident that half of the Bill of Rights explicitly enumerates the rights of the accused.
This legal trickery is intentional. Legislative wonks skirt constitutional barriers — pesky platitudes like "innocent until proven guilty" — by keeping their legalese in the civil side of the court system.
This way, petitioners can leapfrog the Fourth Amendment, which protects us from search and seizure without probable cause first being established. Police can begin to obtain a search warrant in concurrence with the ERPO, meaning evidence — which is mostly hearsay to begin with — is an afterthought.
Now, police are at your uncle's door, ready to raid his property. Police are seizing your uncle's guns, which should — in theory — be protected by the Fifth Amendment. The Constitution denies the taking of property without due process. But, again, this is a civil matter, so we continue to linger in this murky, gray area of constitutional law. As a result, your uncle's firearms get locked away in a police evidence locker, and can remain up to a year. If a continuance is filed, it can be kept longer. This not only bars your uncle from his current firearms, but also stops him from purchasing any during the length of the ERPO.
Next, your uncle gets his day in court to plead his case that he isn't crazy and deserves to have his firearms returned. Meanwhile, you, the petitioner, don't even have to be appear in court. Traditionally, the Sixth Amendment guarantees your right to face your accuser in court when facing criminal charges. The keyword again: criminal. Again, ERPO apologists fight like hell to keep this matter in civil court, because they fully understand the implications.
If the constitutional arguments aren't enough for you, then the hollowness of red flag supporters' rhetoric might be more convincing.
Gun control advocates traditionally use the line "we are not taking away your guns." ERPOs literally take guns away — hard stop. And all it takes is an affidavit.
Advocates will then pivot to "mental health," which is also equally disingenuous. If supporters were concerned about mental health, then they would be talking more about "M-1 holds." M-1 allows police officers to place individuals, who are a potential threat to themselves or others, into 72-hour psychiatric evaluation. This law enforcement tool actually gives people the professional help they might need. No new law is required, but, then again, the true intent of a red flag law has little to do with mental health.
And the final talking point offered in support usually starts with the same prepositional phrase: "If this saves one life..." Proponents claim the moral high ground, but fail to realize that this law has already cost a life. Gary Willis, was the first casualty of this law, when he was gunned down in his Maryland home, when police were serving an ERPO. If only we could save his life.
You don't have to be a "gun nut" to be troubled by the red flag law. Individuals with a reverence for critical thinking, civil liberties, and human dignity should be able to discern that this aptly named law is riddled with worrisome red flags.
Jay Stooksberry is a writer and activist based in Delta. He is the chairman of the Libertarian Party of Delta County.
[Note: hyperlinks can be found in the linked article]
Natelson: Rights violating ‘Red Flag’ laws may kill more than they save
April 7, 2019
By Rob Natelson
Mass shootings by mentally disturbed gunmen have encouraged the adoption of state statutes called “red flag laws.” They permit police or citizens to begin legal proceedings to confiscate firearms from people who allegedly pose a danger to themselves or others.
Such laws can be useful if carefully and narrowly drafted. But some aren’t carefully nor narrowly drafted. Recently, both Colorado and New York state have adopted red flag bills that violate protections in our Bill of Rights. Poorly drafted laws may prove useless in practice—and might even increase crime.
Red flag laws authorize two kinds of confiscation orders. The first removes firearms without notice from their owner for a few days or weeks, until a hearing can be held. After the hearing, the judge may grant a more permanent order, perhaps for a year. Or the judge may deny the more permanent order and vacate the temporary one.
The greatest potential for abuse arises when the police or a citizen (“the petitioner”) seeks a temporary order without informing the gun owner. Guns are property, and the Fifth and 14th Amendments to the U.S. Constitution provide that people may not be deprived of property without due process of law. The Supreme Court has ruled that before the government can confiscate or infringe upon property, the owner is entitled to an opportunity to defend himself or herself. He or she is entitled to have a lawyer, cross-examine, and take advantage of other procedural benefits afforded by our Anglo-American legal tradition.
Accordingly, courts rarely grant protective orders without notice. If you want such an order, you have to show an immediate emergency. Specifically, you have to show you are in imminent danger, and that a protective order is the only remedy.
Mere allegations are not enough. Usually, you must meet a demanding level of proof (“clear and convincing evidence of imminent harm”). Further, you may have to post a bond to protect the defendant against damage in case your accusations prove false or exaggerated.
Once issued, orders without notice typically last only a few days. Rather than make any changes, most simply protect the status quo. For example, an order may restrain the defendant from harassing the petitioner before a hearing or from hiding or destroying assets that might be used to pay a debt.
Some red flag laws ignore those traditional safeguards. Instead of requiring proof of imminent danger, the Colorado law requires only a “significant risk” of damage in the indefinite future. In New York, the standard of proof is only “probable cause,” and in Colorado, “a fair preponderance of the evidence.” Neither state’s law requires the petitioner to post bond, even if he or she can afford to do so.
Most importantly, these temporary orders go far beyond maintaining the status quo. They are orders of confiscation, which police can enforce by invasion, search, and seizure.
In 1969, the Supreme Court held that even freezing property (much less removing it) without a prior hearing violates due process.
Some red flag laws may violate other constitutional rights in addition to due process. They may run afoul of the Fifth Amendment’s rule against taking of property without compensation. They may threaten the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms.
The Sixth Amendment mandates certain protections for defendants in criminal prosecutions. Red flag procedures aren’t criminal prosecutions, but they can lead to harsher punishments than some criminal convictions. So it’s fair to test them by Sixth Amendment standards.
Among the protections in the Sixth Amendment is “the right to … trial, by an impartial jury.” Red flag laws generally don’t provide jury trials. Even in the hearing for a permanent order, a single judge decides everything.
The Sixth Amendment also protects the right of a defendant “to be confronted with the witnesses against him.” But the Colorado red flag statute doesn’t require the petitioner or his witnesses to show up for the hearing. Instead, the court may hold the hearing by telephone. This can make it much harder to assess the credibility of those testifying. Even worse, the Colorado law doesn’t even require live testimony. The petitioner can present all of his or her evidence by affidavit, where it cannot be cross-examined.
So much for your right to be confronted with the witnesses against you!
You might ask, “Isn’t a judge likely to be skeptical of the petitioner’s case if the petitioner testifies only by affidavit?” Certainly, a judge should be. But petitioners can often come up with suitable excuses for not showing up in person. And many judges today are products of an elite legal culture hostile to firearms ownership, and may have an unconscious bias against a gun owner.
The Constitution’s procedural rights are not mere technicalities. They are literally the product of centuries of experience, both in America and in England. They embody not just what is fair, but also what works.
Consider the practical dangers when someone can obtain a temporary confiscation order against another without notice and on relatively weak evidence. Many people—particularly women, the elderly, and the poor—rely on their firearms for self-defense. This is especially true in cities with rampant crime, where the police are overwhelmed. An abusive, estranged husband could have his wife disarmed without prior notice, and then attack before a full hearing corrects the injustice. Or a family member could claim that “Granny is senile and shouldn’t have a gun,” preparatory to robbing her.
Laws like this are likely to sow suspicion and distrust among many, inducing some to shoot rather than give up their weapons.
Red flag laws must be drafted to protect constitutional rights. Otherwise, even if the Supreme Court doesn’t void them, they may cause more deaths than they prevent.
Rob Natelson is senior fellow in Constitutional Jurisprudence at the Independence Institute, a free market think tank in Denver. He has published extensively on the Constitution and is the author of The Original Constitution: What It Actually Said and Meant. A version of this article originally appeared in The Epoch Times.
Here's a map of the current status of Colorado Counties and Sheriffs with respect to the Red Flag Bill/Law.
Map Update: Adams County Sheriff has publicly opposed the law.
Denver and Arapahoe County Police Unions have opposed the law.
This message has been edited. Last edited by: Storm,
Loyalty Above All Else, Except Honor
Storm, I was going to post a similar map but the one I found was interactive and wouldn't have worked well, so thanks for that.
Looks like I was a week off on my prediction...the Governor signed the ERPO Red Flag bill into law today. It will take effect January 1, 2020.
This is the first Red Flag law passed in the U.S. without any bipartisan support and was passed along party lines without a single Republican vote.
Time to fire up the Recall machine and legal challenges so stay tuned.
You're welcome. I've updated the map since my last post (see above). I spoke with Lesley from Rally For Our Rights and she informed me that, Adams County's Sheriff has publicly opposed the law, and the Denver and Arapahoe County Police Unions have opposed the law.
Loyalty Above All Else, Except Honor
"Colorado enacts 'red flag' law to seize guns from those deemed dangerous, prompting backlash"
Colorado became the 15th state on Friday to adopt a “red flag” gun law, allowing firearms to be seized from people determined to pose a danger -- just weeks after dozens of county sheriffs had vowed not to enforce the law, with some local leaders establishing what they called Second Amendment "sanctuary counties."
The law didn't receive a single Republican vote in the state legislature, and has led to renewed efforts from gun-rights activists to recall Democrats who supported the measure. In a fiery and lengthy statement on Facebook on Friday, Eagle County, Colo., Sheriff James van Beek slammed the law as a well-intentioned but "ludicrous" throwback to the 2002 film "Minority Report," and outlined a slew of objections from law enforcement.
A criminal comes into your home to do you harm and take your gun - you shoot the criminal to protect yourself.
A Dem politician comes into your home via this law.............................................
"No matter where you go - there you are"
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