Colorado saw its first request to take guns away from a resident one day after the state’s controversial ‘red flag’ law took effect. This first example came January 2nd after Denver police were called to the scene of a domestic dispute.
According to the affidavit, a man was allegedly intoxicated and threatened to kill himself. Officers used this as evidence of a “credible threat” in their request to a judge under the new law. If a judge approves the request, police will be able to hold the man’s guns for 364 days and could prevent him from owning other firearms during that time.
Some are skeptical of the new law due to its vague language, which allows weapons to be confiscated without criminal charges.
“To go in and conduct a search warrant on someone’s home, based on the word of a third party…I think that’s a huge overreach of the Constitution and that’s where I’d have to draw the line,” said Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams.
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While the law is still new, some have expressed concerns about the length of time weapons are held and the extremely high burden placed on respondents to restore their constitutional right.
Colorado is not the first state to pass ‘red flag’ laws. The controversial measure has been adopted in 17 states and the District of Columbia. These laws encourage family members and law enforcement to petition a judge, which could end with an order to temporarily revoke a person’s ability to possess firearms.
“We obviously encourage people, who look at this law and look at what it allows, that if it is something that they think will make them safer, to go through the appropriate process with the courts to determine if that’s what works best for them,” stated Lt. John Koch of the Colorado Springs Police Department.
Despite mixed responses from the community, the Colorado legislature’s fiscal analysis estimated 95 percent of petitions will be granted.
No one has donated for quite a while. I found myself wondering if Paul Revere had trouble getting hay for his horse…