Bipartisan Bill Paves Way For Colo. Red Flag Gun Law

Photo: Alec Garnett Introduces Red Flag Bill
Democrat State Representative Alec Garnett announced a bipartisan "red flag" bill, which would allow judges to removed firearms when some presents a public risk, on April 30, 2018.

Red flag gun laws entered the spotlight again following the shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School when Florida passed its own version.

Representative Alec Garnett, a Denver Democrat, is sponsoring the legislation. The bill not only has bipartisan backing, Garnett said, but also support from county sheriffs, chiefs of police and district attorneys across the state.

Public officials from across the aisle – including state Rep.Cole Wist, Arapahoe County district attorney George Brauchler and former Speaker of the Colorado House Andrew Romanoff – joined Garnett Monday morning to announce the bill. Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock, of the same department as slain deputy sheriff Zackari Parrish, and Tom Mauser, who lost his son in the Columbine shooting, also spoke.

Tom Mauser, who lost his son in the Columbine shooting, says he's thankful for this bill and hopes lawmakers keep up the bipartisan momentum.

Red flag gun lAws empower judges to issue extreme risk protection orders on people believed to be dangerous to themselves or others. The protection orders can remain in effect for anywhere between a week and six months. Recipients of the order would have to both give up any guns they have as well as not buy any new guns. When they’re no longer considered a risk, they get their guns back.

Eight other states already have similar laws. In one of them, Connecticut, Garnett said, the law is most often used to prevent mentally unstable gun owners from shooting themselves.

CPR's Ryan Warner contributed to this story.