Governor Polis Signs Extreme Risk Protection Order—Red Flag—Bill

April 15, 2019
Jared Polis, Tom Sullivan, jared polis, tom sullivanJared Polis, Tom Sullivan, jared polis, tom sullivan David Zalubowski / Associated Press
Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, left, speaks as Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Aurora, looks on before Polis signs a bill to allow Colorado to become the 15th state in the union to adopt a "red flag" gun law. Signing ceremony Friday, April 12, 2019 in the State Capitol.

Governor Jared Polis signed a bill Friday that will allow police to temporarily take guns away from people who pose a risk to themselves or others. The so-called red flag gun law was one of the most disputed of this year's Democratic-controlled Legislative session.

Several people who have lost friends or family members to gun violence were at the signing ceremony, and there were cheers and hugs in the governor's office after Polis, a Democrat, approved the extreme risk protection order bill.

"We may be saving the life of your nephew or niece or grandchild who is 19 or 20 and suffering from a mental health crisis," said Polis. "We might also prevent the shootings of additional deputies, or even mass shootings."

All Republican lawmakers voted against the measure, and some sheriffs in the state say they won’t enforce it. Opponents argue the law violates the Second Amendment and due process rights of gun owners. 

The new law places the burden of proof on a gun owner to get firearms back by showing that he or she no longer poses a risk.

The law takes effect next year.