‘Red Flag’ Bill Clears Colorado Senate

· Mar. 28, 2019, 10:15 pm
Photo: Colorado Capitol Building 2018 | West Front - KBeaty - DO NOT REUSE
A monument to the Civil War, that includes a reference to the Sand Creek Massacre, in front of the State Capitol building, July 23, 2018. 

Colorado's Senate on Thursday passed a so-called "red flag bill" designed to temporarily remove firearms from persons deemed by a court to be a risk to themselves or others.

The Colorado Sun reports that Senate President Leroy Garcia, a Democrat, joined the chamber's 16 Republicans in voting against the bill, which passed 18-17.

The bill heads to the House for consideration of Senate amendments before it reaches the desk of Democratic Gov. Jared Polis, who has pledged to sign it into law.

Republicans defeated similar legislation in 2018 before they lost control of the Senate in last November's elections. They fought this year's bill, which places the burden on gun owners to prove in court they do not pose a risk if they want to recover firearms that have been seized.

Florida passed its own extreme risk protection order law after the 2018 Parkland school massacre, and 12 other states have also done so.

Colorado's legislation would allow family or law enforcement to seek a court order to have guns seized if they believe the owner is a threat. If approved, a subsequent court hearing would be held to determine whether to extend the seizure up to 364 days.

The bill also would require anyone whose guns are seized to prove that he or she no longer poses a risk in order to get them back. Republicans fought to shift that burden back to those who sought the protection order.

Garcia did not participate in Thursday's debate leading up to the vote. But he revealed his decision to vote "no" to The Pueblo Chieftain earlier this week.

In 2013, voters in Garcia's Pueblo district recalled Democratic Sen. Angela Giron for supporting gun-control measures adopted after the 2012 Aurora movie theater shootings.

Voter recalled a second Democrat over gun control in 2013, and a third resigned rather than face a recall.

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