Opinion | Knopf: Is the Red Flag Bill about mental health or gun seizure?

Opinion | Knopf: Is the Red Flag Bill about mental health or gun seizure?

Gun Rights

For the record If you knew your neighbor had been drinking a lot lately and had been talking about killing herself, and she owned a gun, would you do something about it? Would you call the police to report her as high-risk? What if you didn’t report her and she killed herself? How would you feel? The Red Flag Bill, as it’s commonly called, seeks to add a new tool to the community to protect human life. HB19-1177 creates a temporary extreme risk protection order. A family member, household member or law enforcement officer can seek a court-ordered ERPO. According to the official bill summary, “The petitioner must establish by a preponderance of … evidence that a person poses a significant risk to self or others … by possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearm. The petitioner must submit an affidavit signed under oath and penalty of perjury that sets forth facts to support the issuance of a temporary ERPO … The court must hold a temporary ERPO hearing …” The initial order is good for 14 days and then the person whose guns were removed can come back to court to demonstrate why he or she should have the firearms returned. The state would need to make a good case to continue to hold the guns. If the judge upholds the initial order, the guns would be removed for up to 364 days. The proposed bill has stirred up a firestorm of controversy. Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock is […]

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