By: Teresa Mull
A gun rights group in Colorado is fighting back against the state’s recently passed red flag gun confiscation law.
“We will prove in court that House Democrats refused to respect the Colorado Constitution when they refused to read HB19-1177 at length,” said Dudley Brown, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO) Executive Director. “Their disregard for the legislative process is as concerning as their blatant disregard for due process and the Constitution.”
HB 1177, the state’s red flag bill, which Gov. Jared Polis (D) just signed into law, allows a person to petition a court to seize someone’s weapons if they deem them to be a danger to themselves or their community because of their mental health.
A court then conducts an ex parte hearing, in which those seeking an order against someone provide evidence that a respondent is a danger to themselves or community.
The respondent is not made aware of the hearing, but nevertheless bears the burden of proving him or herself innocent. The bill does not require a respondent to enter into mental health treatment.
The bill requires law enforcement departments to search respondents' homes for weapons if a court has found they are a danger to themselves or their community. Once the court files the orders, the respondent’s weapons are confiscated for up to 14 days while court proceedings are conducted to determine whether the accused is a danger or not.
“[Brown] announced that Colorado’s largest pro-gun organization was filing suit to void the enactment of HB19-1177, the so-called ‘Red Flag’ Gun Confiscation scheme, citing a violation of the state constitution by State House Democrats during the passage of the bill,” an RMGO press release reported last week.
“Brown and RMGO are joined in the suit by House Minority Leader Patrick Neville, and State Representatives Lori Saine and Dave Williams. RMGO’s attorney Barry Arrington will argue before the Denver District court that the refusal by Democrat leadership in the state house to read HB19-1177 at length when requested by both Representatives Saine and Williams constitutes a violation of the state constitution. Article V, section 22 of the Constitution states: Every bill shall be read by title when introduced, and at length on two different days in each house; provided, however, any reading at length may be dispensed with upon unanimous consent of the members present.”
“RMGO is committed to working with legislators to ensure the legislative process is upheld, and House Democrats are held accountable for their flagrant and pernicious violation of the Constitution,” Brown said.
Teresa Mull is editor of Gunpowder Magazine. Contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.