El Paso County prepared to challenge "Red Flag" gun bill

By  | 

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. (KKTV)- El Paso County is taking a stand against a proposed bill that could allow law enforcement to take people's guns away.

El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder announced Thursday, if the bill becomes law, he and the county are prepared to fight it.

Several counties agree that the bill, as written, violates the Second and Fourth Amendments.

Sheriff Elder said he and the county commissioners will file a lawsuit if or when the bill becomes law. They want the state supreme court to eventually decide if it is constitutional.

Second Amendment Preservation County is what El Paso is calling it.

“We are going to do everything we can to preserve the Second Amendment," Sheriff Elder said.

House Bill 1177 also known as the "Red Flag" bill would allow family members or law enforcement to ask the court for a temporary "Extreme Risk Protection Order".

"Tactically this has got trouble written all over it," Sheriff Elder said.

They must provide unspecified evidence that the person is a significant risk to self or others by having a firearm.

"If the recipient, the accused, is in need of mental health help because they are in crisis, and we're going to go take their guns, that is a really dangerous situation,” Sheriff Elder said.

To get their guns back, that person must prove to a judge they're not a risk.

"If somebody needs mental health help and they're in crisis we're going to go take their guns, it just, to me it seems backwards," Sheriff Elder said.

The Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock disagrees. He says it would help and is urging lawmakers to pass the bill.

The bill was crafted for his fallen deputy Zackari Parrish who was shot and killed by a mentally ill man December 31, 2017.

Sheriff Elder said if it becomes law, he must follow it, but will do whatever he can to fight it.

"Our intent is to file a lawsuit hoping for an injunction on the bill taking affect," Sheriff Elder said.

On Thursday morning, Teller County Commissioners unanimously passed a resolution to uphold the Second Amendment. They joined the growing list of counties against the bill, including Fremont and Custer counties.

Last week, Fremont County declare themselves a Second Amendment Sanctuary County. You can read more about their decision here.

El Paso County Commissioners will address the issue in their meeting on their March 12, 2019 meeting.

The bill has already passed the House and was introduced to the Senate on Thursday.