El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, which arrested alleged Club Q shooter in 2021, has never initiated a red flag gun seizure

El Paso County Sheriff’s Office, which arrested alleged Club Q shooter in 2021, has never initiated a red flag gun seizure

Mourners gather outside Club Q, an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs where five were killed and at least 18 were injured during a shooting late on Nov. 19, 2022. Police say club patrons were able to stop the gunman, and the suspect is currently in custody. (Olivia Sun, The Colorado Sun via Report for America) The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office has never used Colorado’s 2019 red flag law to ask a judge to temporarily order the seizure of firearms from a person deemed a significant risk to themselves or others. That includes last year, when it arrested the accused Club Q shooter on felony menacing and kidnapping charges in a case that was later dropped. Sgt. Jason Garrett, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office, told The Colorado Sun on Wednesday that the agency has never initiated an extreme risk protection order — or ERPO — which is the first step in making a seizure happen. Garrett didn’t answer a question about why the office has not used the law. The sheriff’s office’s decision to not use the law is drawing intense scrutiny and questions over whether an ERPO could have prevented the Club Q shooting. To critics, it’s a clear example of partisan intransigence getting in the way of public safety. But at least one expert cautions that red flag laws can’t be seen as a catch-all solution to violence prevention. “Any time you have a law, it’s only as good and effective as how it’s used,” said […]

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