Sheriffs in Colorado are fighting back after legislature in the liberal state passed a “red flag” bill that would allow those deemed a threat to have their firearms seized, despite opposition by most of the state’s sheriffs and threats of legal challenges.
Here is more from Fox News:
One Colorado sheriff says he’d rather go to jail than enforce a gun-control bill passed by the state legislature, expected to become law. Known commonly as a “Red Flag” law, the measure would allow judges to take guns away from people who are found to be a danger to themselves or others.
Weld County Sheriff Steven Reams said it would go too far. “It has so many constitutional questions I can’t go forward in good faith and carry out a law that I feel puts constituents’ constitutional rights at risk.”
Reams, a Republican, is not alone. Half of Colorado’s 64 counties have declared themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries where the measure would not be enforced.
“They could sentence me to my own jail,” Reams said, “fine me, or hold a contempt hearing to further this argument along, and honestly I think any of those possibilities are out there.”
Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, responded to criticism of the measure at a news conference last week, saying: “The sheriff is also not a law making position in our state, it is a law enforcement division.” Polis is expected to sign the legislation, adding Colorado to the 14 other states and the District of Columbia which already have similar laws known formally as Extreme Risk Protection Orders.
The Colorado version would allow family members or others to petition a judge to remove people’s guns if they are deemed an extreme risk to themselves or others. If the judge agrees, each person would lose the right to purchase or possess firearms for 364 days. They would be able to file a protest to request the order be reversed.
Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser, a Democrat, has stated publicly that sheriffs who don’t want to enforce state laws should resign, but strong words may be all they face.
“We have local-control law enforcement in our state, that is a good thing,” Polis pointed out, adding, “Law enforcement agencies have discretion as to prioritization of resources.”