At a rally at the Colorado state Capitol Saturday morning, a gun rights group asked people to report if they are “red flagged” come 2020.
The new law allows a family member or law enforcement official to petition a court to temporarily remove guns for up to a year from someone who appears to pose a danger to themself or others.
“We are going to be tracking everything about them,” said Lesley Hollywood, the founder of the group Rally For Our Rights, which hosted the event. “We’ll be tracking which judges are ordering these so come time to elect the judges out, we can do that, too.”
She said the group is going to have resources for attorneys and mental health professionals about the law and will not let her rights be taken away.
“We will not comply with laws that infringe on our right to keep and bear arms,” she said. “It is downright dangerous. It’s unconstitutional.”
The law passed in the 2019 legislative session and it goes into effect Jan. 1, 2020.
The crowd of about 150 people who gathered on Saturday in Denver shouted, “We will not comply.” Attendees carried American flags and signs that read “ERPO makes swatting illegal,” referring to the official name for the red flag law, an extreme risk protection order. Other signs read “The 2nd protects your 1st.” Among the speakers was Republican Rep. Patrick Neville, who represents parts of Douglas County and survived the Columbine shooting.
“Since 1999, when I was in Columbine High School, we’ve tried the same solutions,” he said. “They’re only after your guns.”
Cory Anderson with Boots On The Ground Bikers For Trump said he traveled to the event from the Western Slope.
“Our second amendment right is being infringed on,” he said. “We want sensible people to have firearms. We’re not looking for people who are mentally incapacitated or whatnot. But when you talk about the red flag law, you’re talking about taking away people’s due process. Basically you’re guilty until proven innocent.”
Anderson said he’s concerned about who could qualify as a family member given the law’s language.
Opponents of the Extreme Risk Protection Order have called it frightening. At a forum in Longmont earlier this year, attendees had many questions and concerns about how the law is written. And a lawsuit was filed in May over the law.
Almost 20 other states have similar laws on the books.
At least a dozen Colorado counties have designated themselves “Second Amendment sanctuaries” and said they will not enforce the law. Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams said he would be willing to go to jail rather than follow a court order to remove someone’s firearms.
Last week, Colorado’s Attorney General’s Office released guidance to law enforcement about how to carry out the order. Attorney General Phil Weiser has previously said he thinks sheriffs will rethink their stance and comply with the law.
Hollywood said Saturday that those guidelines are just as confusing as the law is.