Tackling Questions About Colorado’s Red Flag Law and the Second Amendment

The Daily Signal | 4/18/2019 | Staff
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Peyton Smith is a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.

Amy Swearer is a legal policy analyst at the Meese Center for Legal and Judicial Studies at The Heritage Foundation.

Colorado - Gov - Jared - Polis - Democrat

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis, a Democrat, signed into law a bill this month that allows a person to be temporarily disarmed if a court finds that he or she poses a significant risk of harm to self or others.

This makes Colorado the fifteenth state to enact such a law, known in Colorado as an extreme risk protection order and colloquially as a red flag law.

State - Legislature - Push - Flag - Legislation

The state legislature’s push for red flag legislation came after a man with a long history of untreated mental health problems shot and killed a 29-year-old sheriff’s deputy, Zach Parrish, who responded to 911 calls regarding a mental health crisis.

We have long noted that untreated serious mental illness plays a key role in suicides and acts of mass public violence, including those committed with firearms.

Flag - Laws - Role - Types - Violence

Red flag laws can play an important role in combating these types of firearm-related violence, but such laws must also respect due process protections, be limited in duration, and refrain from broadly undermining the Second Amendment rights of gun owners who aren’t a danger to themselves or others.

Every state’s red flag law is different, and some are unquestionably worrisome. But how do claims against Colorado’s law stack up against reality and reason?

Concerns - Colorado - Flag - Law - Truth

Below, we’ve addressed some of the common concerns raised about Colorado’s red flag law. In truth, the law—while not perfect—is well-crafted to intentionally avoid many of the problems normally seen in these types of laws.

1. Is it “Gun Confiscation?”

Term - Confiscation - Fear - Gun - Owners

No. The term “gun confiscation” rightly evokes fear among law-abiding gun owners that the government will impose broad-scale civilian disarmament like that seen in Australia and the United Kingdom. Laws that...
(Excerpt) Read more at: The Daily Signal
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