Sheriff opposition to Colorado’s red flag gun law under scrutiny after Club Q shooting

Sheriff opposition to Colorado's red flag gun law under scrutiny after Club Q shooting

Gun safety and suicide prevention brochures sit on display next to guns for sale at a local retail gun store in Montrose, Colorado. The Club Q mass shooting in Colorado Springs that left five people dead and many more injured is raising questions about the state’s red flag gun law and the sheriffs who oppose it. The law is meant to prohibit people who are a threat to themselves or others from possessing a firearm. That could include the suspect in the Club Q shooting. Last year, he allegedly threatened his mother with a homemade bomb, several weapons and ammunition. A standoff with sheriff’s deputies ensued. Both law enforcement and relatives can file red flag orders, though it’s not clear if an order was issued in this instance; the case has been sealed. But in El Paso County, where the nightclub shooting occurred, Sheriff Bill Elder has been a vocal opponent of the law. “We’re going to be taking away personal property from people without having due process,” he told KOAA News when red flag legislation was moving through the Colorado statehouse in 2019. Elder said his department would “not pursue these on our own,” but that his deputies would honor court orders filed by others. According to state records, 14 temporary extreme risk protection orders have been issued in El Paso County (population 737,867) since the red flag law took effect at the beginning of 2020. The temporary orders prohibit someone from possessing a firearm until a hearing […]

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