Taking A Stand: Colorado Sheriff Would Choose Jail Over Enforcing “Red Flag” Bill

Taking A Stand: Colorado Sheriff Would Choose Jail Over Enforcing “Red Flag” Bill

Taking A Stand: Colorado Sheriff Would Choose Jail Over Enforcing “Red Flag” Bill

There are 64 counties in Colorado. Presently at least 32 of them, if not more, are declaring themselves as Second Amendment “sanctuary” counties. Why? Because of the dangerously asinine “Red Flag” bill, HB19-1177. In fact, Colorado’s Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams would rather go to jail than enforce it.

What is in this “Red Flag” bill? 

“The bill would allow a family member, roommate or law enforcement officer to petition a judge to take someone’s firearms if they’re determined to be a threat to themselves or others.”

The way this legislation reads means that someone can arbitrarily decide that someone they know is a danger to them or others and a judge will sign a warrant to have that person’s weapons confiscated…NO QUESTIONS ASKED. Oh, but that’s not all.

“The bill allows a judge to order a person’s guns to be seized before the person has a chance to appear in court. The bill does require a second hearing with the gun owner present to be held within 14 days, where the owner could make a case to keep the weapons — but if the owner is unsuccessful, a judge could order the guns seized for as long as a year.” [Emphasis Added]

Do you see Due Process in there anywhere? I sure as hell don’t.

What could possibly go wrong if this legislation becomes actionable law?

  • Search warrants created ordering law enforcement to seize a citizen’s property with ZERO evidence of a crime
  • Stands the risk of law enforcement getting put into situations that will ESCALATE rather than did-escalate volatile situations
  • Requires law enforcement to seize firearms that could mutually owned by family members or not even owned at all by the person in question

But lives will be saved! Or will they?

Sadly, the bill’s sponsors along with others in the legislature who support this are using the trite argument that nixing Due Process is A-OK if it saves just one person’s life. In fact, some legislators were so willing to push this crap through that they lied and are still lying about who is and isn’t supporting it.

Let me tell you something, if I’d been sitting in that cafe when Sen. Kerry Donovan spoke like that to the citizens she’s supposed to represent? Unbelievable.

Her response to the video and all the calls/commentary? To once again to throw the Chaffee County sheriff under the bus by saying ‘well, he supported a similar bill last year!’ Ummm…no. The bill proposed last year was very different and there’s a reason it never made it past committee. But Donovan wants us to ignore that because she’s right and those who oppose are wrong!

This legislation flies directly in the face of our Constitutional Rights. It isn’t just about our 2nd Amendment. It’s about our 4th Amendment rights to be safe from UNREASONABLE search and seizures. 

Furthermore, as another Colorado sheriff points out on his Facebook page, this bill is ordering a municipal law enforcement agency to act as an officer of the court by serving a civil order of this kind. This is opening the already spread thin law enforcement agencies to all all sorts of liabilities.

Sheriff Steve Reams points out something that should concern us all, most especially those in favor of this legislation.

“”Going in and taking their guns and leaving the scene, I can’t see how that makes them less of a risk. It just takes one tool away,” said Reams, arguing that a person bent on hurting someone could do it with a knife or a car.”

A DU law professor says that refusing to enforce this could open up agency to criminal liability. Does he even consider that they’d be open to liability if seizing someone’s guns causes a situation to escalate?

This “red flag” bill will open a Pandora’s box of unintended consequences. But that didn’t stop the Colorado House today.

What is mind-boggling is all those who believe this is reasonable course of action.

This legislation makes it too easy for people, law enforcement, and judges to make decisions when they have little to zero training in mental health. Remember, this legislation doesn’t require probable cause!

Great question with the answer being, you can’t as perception is ALWAYS in the eye of the beholder.

I hate to say it, but I could totally see someone testing this out out of spite against a family member or friend, and lives will be lost because of it.

This legislation will never solve this problem. It will exacerbate it AND does considerable damage to our Constitutional rights.

Kudos to Sheriff Steve Reams for taking a stand.

Feature Photo Credit: File Photo from Greeley Tribune, cropped and modified

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4 Comments
  • Scott says:

    Nina,

    Sadly, this is what happens when so many idiots in this once great state of ours voted to give control of both houses, and the governorship to the dims.. There is not a single restriction on Constitutionally protected rights that they will not joyously pass, and tell us it’s for our own good. And being a perfect leftist, Polis will sign every damn thing they land on his desk.
    Things are going to get ugly between now and the next election, I hope we can all survive it.

  • GWB says:

    a second hearing with the gun owner present to be held within 14 days
    I’d be more OK with this if that were something like 24 or 48 hours, instead of two weeks.
    And, at least it requires a warrant. Of course, with activist judges running rampant, that doesn’t mean as much as it used to.

    Polling shows broad support for these kinds of reasonable, limited gun control measures, even among conservatives.
    Yes. For obvious reasons, just about everyone actually supports removing firearms from people who are nuts or plotting violence. But, just like forcibly committing someone to a mental institution, we don’t leave those decisions in the hands of just a person or two – not even a single professional. We require it be adjudicated, with a representative for the crazy person and everything.

    I get that you can’t bring the person in beforehand if they haven’t committed an actual crime – especially not give them a notice of a court date 2 weeks in the future, letting them know someone thinks they’re nuts and wants to take away their firearms. You know those firearms will just go into hiding.
    But, you have to have some kind of IMMEDIATE adjudication. I would actually require it to be immediately upon seizure of the weapons. Within 24-48 hours might be good enough for me.
    I also INSIST that 1) if they are found crazy enough to be a danger to others that they actually be institutionalized (or are found to have committed material preparation for a crime that they be immediately arrested and charged), and 2) if the person making the initial complaint is noted as being a nuisance with this, then they be tried for conspiring to violate the target’s civil rights. There would be no leeway in either of those.

    Perceived Is An Interesting Legal Threshold.
    Yeah. That threshold won’t even authorize a search of a vehicle in many cases. When that word is used for such things it is required to be backed up by actual reasoning based on cops’ experience and so forth.

    Again, I could support something like this if it has actual civil rights protection in it. Given how cops and courts have handled “civil forfeiture”, though, I fully expect that would be abused, too.

  • Vatertortuga says:

    “and lives will be lost because of it.” Sadly that appears to already have happened: https://www.thenewamerican.com/usnews/constitution/item/30567-law-abiding-gun-owner-killed-during-red-flag-confiscation-raid
    I oppose laws of this nature due to its violation of the Constitution/Bill of Rights. The Constitution does not grant the rights enumerated in the Bill of Rights, it affirms them. I am proud to say that my Sheriff and County Commission have declared our county to be a 2nd Amendment sanctuary county.

  • Scott says:

    Luckily, my county has also voted to be a sanctuary county from this BS.. I have a sister, and the husband of another sister, who I can definitely see trying to use this against me… I am a deplorable after all

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