Law enforcement officials in various Colorado counties are vowing not to enforce a “red flag” law set to take effect early next year.
“Red flag” laws, sometimes called extreme risk protection order laws, allow police or people with close ties to a gun owner to petition courts for orders that require individuals deemed a threat to temporarily surrender their firearms.
Citing Second Amendment concerns, dozens of the state’s sheriffs have come out in opposition to the measure, CBS News reported.
“There are portions of the law I just flat out can’t and won’t do,” said Weld County sheriff Steve Ream in an interview with “60 Minutes.”
“I’ll support the U.S. Constitution, the Constitution of the state of Colorado and then, I’ll enforce the laws of the state of Colorado. When those things are in conflict you know you have to decide which one you are going to adhere to,” Ream added.
El Paso County sheriff Bill Elder told “60 Minutes” the state should focus on mental health issues, if it wants to stop violence.
“We need to have funding for meaningful mental health assessments and treatment. There just are no programs. The state hospitals are full,” he said.
Roughly half of Colorado’s 64 counties have declared themselves Second Amendment “sanctuary cities” and pledged to oppose the gun control bill they say violates the Constitution.
But not all of the state’s authorities feel the same way.
Sheriff Tony Spurlock of Douglas County supports Colorado’s “red flag” law, which he says could have saved the life of one of his deputies killed in the line of duty.
“Probably a month before, we would’ve been able to intervene, and in my opinion, most likely would have saved two lives,” he said, referencing the 2017 death of Zack Parrish.
“We would’ve saved the suspect’s life and we would have saved Zack’s life,” Spurlock told “60 Minutes.”
In 2018, more than 1,700 “red flag” orders were issued, according to the Associated Press.
Amid protests from gun rights activists, Colorado passed its own “red flag” law in the Democrat-controlled state legislature earlier this year.
The law will go into effect on Jan. 1.