Colorado Lawmakers Give Final Approval To Extreme Risk Bill

Originally published on April 1, 2019 5:19 pm

The Colorado Legislature has given final approval to a bill that will allow police officers to temporarily take guns away from people who are deemed to be a risk to themselves or others.

Gov. Jared Polis is expected to sign the extreme risk protection order bill into law.

The legislation is very personal for state Rep. Tom Sullivan, whose son, Alex, was murdered in the Aurora theater shooting in 2012.

Moments after the gun control bill passed its final vote in the House on Monday morning, Sullivan said it was an important milestone.

“It’s just the next step of the forward journey that the parent of a murdered child I think goes through,” Sullivan said. “It will save lives. At the core of everything that we do down here, our core issue is to save lives and make people’s lives better. And this law will do that.”

“We have to continue the march on this,” Sullivan added.

Meanwhile, some of the state’s sheriffs are indicating they won’t enforce the law.

Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams recently told CNN he’d rather spend time in his own jail than carry out a judge’s order to take someone’s gun.

“The bill violates the Fourth, the Fifth, the Sixth, the Eighth (and) the Fourteenth Amendment,” he said referring to the amendments that guarantee rights to privacy, jury trials and due process. “It’s just a very poorly-written bill.”

But Sullivan, who sponsored the bill, questioned how it could be considered unconstitutional when more than a dozen other states have adopted similar laws.

“It’s a little confusing to me,” Sullivan said. “I’m not really sure where they’re coming from. Our attorney general (Phil Weiser) says it’s constitutional….This is now the law of the land.”

Capitol Coverage is a collaborative public policy reporting project, providing news and analysis to communities across Colorado for more than a decade. Eleven public radio stations participate in Capitol Coverage from throughout Colorado.

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