AG Phil Weiser Backs Judge’s Denial Of Red Flag Petition Against CSU Police Officer

David Zalubowski/AP
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser heads into a news conference in Denver, Feb. 19, 2019.

A Larimer County judge denied an extreme risk protection order on Thursday, a decision now backed by Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser.

The ruling allows Colorado State University Police officer Phillip Morris to maintain possession of firearms. He was involved in the 2017 fatal shooting of 19-year-old Jeremy Holmes. Morris and another involved officer were later cleared of any wrongdoing.

Susan Holmes, Jeremy’s mother, filed the petition against Morris last week and shared a copy of the petition in a YouTube video. It appears to indicate that she and Morris share a child together, which officials say is false.

“The judge properly ruled against granting the petition,” Weiser said in a statement. “Ms. Holmes is neither law enforcement nor a family or household member.”

Under the so-called "red flag" law, only members of law enforcement and family or household members can file petitions. The law went into effect at the start of 2020 and allows a judge to temporarily remove an individual's firearms if they’re deemed a danger to themselves or others.

The law has garnered many critics with concerns over who counts as a family or household member, who can file a petition, and whether it violates due process rights.

Weiser noted the law has protections in place that prevent people from abusing it.

“Abuse of this important law undermines the very fabric of its critical purpose, which is to protect public safety,” he said.

Earlier this week, a Denver man agreed to give up his firearms for 364 days under the law. It appears to be the first extreme risk protection order approved in Colorado.

Before Thursday’s hearing, Larimer County Sheriff Justin Smith called Holmes’ petition a “fraud” and said his office is investigating if she could face charges.