by WorldTribune Staff, April 18, 2019
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis last week signed into law a Democrat-sponsored bill that allows courts in the state to issue orders for the confiscation of individuals’ guns.
The law allows family, household members or law enforcement to petition a court to have guns seized or surrendered based on a showing that someone poses a danger under the “preponderance of the evidence,” a civil standard which means that the defendant is more likely than not to be a threat.
Polis, a Democrat, admitted the Red Flag Law cannot “prevent every shooting,” but he signed the bill, saying, “Today we may be saving the life of your nephew, your niece, your grandchild,” The Hill reported.
Tribune Ledger News reported that the legislation, House Bill 1177, received no Republican votes.
More than half of Colorado’s county governments had voiced opposition to the bill and said they have no plans to enforce it.
Eagle County Sheriff James van Beek said the law treats accused gun owners like “criminals,” discourages individuals from seeking mental health treatment, and ignores the reality that “a disturbed mind will not be deterred by the removal of their guns.”
Noting that cities with strict gun laws still experience high murder rates, van Beek asserted: “By removing guns from someone intent on committing suicide or murder, we still have the danger of someone who may be unbalanced, now, angrier than before, and looking for another means … explosives, poisons, knives, car incidents of mowing down groups of unsuspecting innocent.”
Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams said he will go to jail before enforcing the gun confiscation law. He told CNN that his refusal to enforce the law is “a matter of doing what’s right.”
Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith told the Coloradoan the confiscatory aspect of the Red Flag Law could actually cause problems the legislation’s Democrat sponsors did not consider. He said: “This may sound simplistic, but between the firearms locked up in the house, or the individual, the firearms left alone are not a threat. The individual is deemed to be (the threat.) If we take the firearms away, it doesn’t take away the angst they had if we don’t get them help. It probably leaves them very angry and frustrated with government and maybe anybody who was behind issuing this.”
Sheriff Smith added, “If it’s a powder keg, it gets worse if we leave. Certainly, we know many other ways for people to act out violently, with edged instruments, with bludgeons, with vehicles, with any number of things.”
Breitbart News Second Amendment columnist AWR Hawkins noted that “California, Florida, and Illinois all have confiscatory Red Flag Laws, yet each state has witnessed high profile shootings of the very kind the laws were supposed to stop. For example, on November 7, 2018, a man shot and killed 12 at Borderline Bar & Grill in Thousand Oaks, California; on August 26, 2018, a man shot and killed three at a mall in Jacksonville, Florida; on January 23, 2019, a man shot and killed five at a bank in Sebring, Florida; and on February 15, 2019, a man shot and killed five at the Henry Pratt Company in Aurora, Illinois.”