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El Paso County Commissioners unanimously oppose "red flag" gun bill

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In a unanimous March 12 vote, El Paso County Commissioners opposed Colorado House Bill 1177, the so-called "red flag" bill that would allow guns to be temporarily removed from people deemed a danger to themselves or others ("Deadly web," Feb. 20).

The resolution opposes the bill, which would enable a family or household member or a law enforcement officer to petition the court for a temporary extreme risk protection order beginning Jan. 1, 2020. The petitioner would have to show by a preponderance of the evidence that a person poses a significant risk. The bill passed the House and moved to the Senate.

Commissioners said in their view HB1177 lacks due process, forcing gun owners to prove they're not a threat. The state should instead focus on mental health treatment, the Commissioners opined.

Commissioners also vowed not to "initiate unconstitutional seizures," and pledged to take legal action to challenge the law, if enacted.

The resolution notes that El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder has issued 45,500 concealed carry permits, more than any sheriff in the state. Elder has vowed to fight the law in the courts should it pass.

El Paso joins Weld, Fremont, Montezuma, Otero and Custer counties, which oppose the bill and have declared themselves so-called "Second Amendment Sanctuary Counties."

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