First Gun Taken After New ‘Red Flag’ Law in Colorado Goes Into Effect

Colorado seized its first firearm from a citizen just one day after the new “red flag” law went into effect.

Denver police used the law to keep a gun they had already confiscated from a Colorado man accused of beating his wife and threatening to harm himself. The police got approval from a judge to hold onto two handguns in a petition that was made public this week, The Washington Post reported.

Red flag laws first began being passed in 1999, when Connecticut enacted the first one in U.S. history. The laws give police officers and courts the ability to confiscate or hold onto firearms that belong to someone they deem a credible threat to themselves or others. While some studies have shown the laws reduce violence, second amendment activists have argued the laws are an overt infringement on the right to bear arms.

This incident began when Denver police were called to an apartment complex on December 29. A 26-year-old was threatening to “off” himself and had allegedly gotten into a fight with his wife and sister. The man’s wife said he attempted to strangle her and had “brandished a gun during the altercation,” according to The Washington Post report.

Police found a 9mm gun in the man’s waistband during a search. Once they confiscated it, the man also turned over a .45-caliber Springfield handgun that was inside his home. In the petition filed to the court, investigators said the man told them he was “contemplating doing something bad to myself” and said it was a “good thing they stopped me because it was not good.”

Citing those statements, the petition says the man was a credible threat, and that if a judge approves, they could hold his gun for nearly a year.

When the red flag laws passed in Denver last April, it sparked a huge debate across the country and in Colorado. Dozens of sheriffs in Colorado said they would act as “Second Amendment sanctuaries” and promised gun owners they would ignore the measure, calling it unconstitutional.

“This is the first one to my knowledge, but there are possibly others,” Colorado Judicial Department spokesman Jon Sarché told The Denver Post.


  1. Thanks for the map – now I know what states to avoid. And just who decides “credible threat”?

  2. Clearly red flag laws have triggered the national movement for 2nd Amendment Sanctuary counties. And we’re already witnessing a sea change in the sanctuary movement. I’ve always understood that these partisan and unconstitutional laws could be defeated by simply denying assistance to federal or state law enforcement.

    The obvious reason is federal and state resources alone are woefully inadequate to enforce such things as red flag or magazine violations and could not begin to undertake such efforts without local law enforcement assistance. If deputizing hundreds of thousands to actively resist federal and state efforts is representative of the whole movement, it’s a single issue rebellion which could rapidly expand.

    Hundreds of counties already have proclaimed sanctuary status and almost 70 percent of the counties nationwide are projected to declare allegiance to the Constitution and refusal to enforce laws that violate it. That would comprise 472 counties with only one murder per year plus 1,700 counties that have no murders at all. If that materializes, one desirable result would force federal and state enforcement to start with the 63 counties (2% of the total) where half of America’s murders occur.

    This movement is understandable because the fact is, red flag laws were created to dilute power licensed to the psychiatric community. These laws transfer power to unqualified persons more obedient to democrats, e.g., local judges and crotchety old aunts. Due process requires reports from two psychiatrists, one from each side, legal representation, arraignment, indictment and trial by jury.

    Nobody wants criminals to have firearms but to be taken seriously, if the accused is a danger to himself or others, he should be legally arrested. In other words, take the man but leave the guns. The line of inheritance codified in state laws determines the legal custodian of any property. Politicians on both sides who support this notion will regret the day they ever heard of red flag laws.

    Their legacies will carry a Supreme Court scolding and perhaps be the landmark of their careers. Writers, politicians and demonstrators have been hoodwinked by Bloomberg’s rhetoric and haven’t read his 2018 data. It reveals gun homicides declined seven percent, firearm injuries declined 10 percent, fatal child shootings (under 18) declined 12 percent and unintentional shootings plummeted 21 percent.

    None of this hysteria is justified. Since 1991, the murder rate has fallen by 45 percent and the overall violent crime rate has fallen by 48 percent. It’s bizarre that Bloomberg wants to change all that. Since 1999, the statistical probability of a student being killed in school, on any given day by a gun has been one in 614 million. Your odds of winning the lottery are 1 in 300 million. The chances of your child being kidnapped are about one in 300,000. Bloomberg says the nation is in crisis, suffering an epidemic. Folks, there is no crisis, no epidemic.

    Shooting incidents involving students have been declining since the ’90s. Fact is all but three mass shooters in recent history passed background checks. Two stole their rifles. The other one bought from a guy who assembled it from parts and sold it from home. Murders committed by all types of rifles combined, in 2018, dropped by 23.9 percent. According to the FBI, out of 14,123 homicides in 2018, only 297 (2.1%) were committed by rifles.

    During that time, citizens were buying a record number of firearms. In 2018, more than 26 million requests were submitted to the National Instant Background System, a general indicator of firearms purchased. That number was exceeded only by 27.5 million in 2016 when purchasers were mortified that Hillary might be elected. Democrats want US citizens to believe making the U.S. safer for criminals will make it safer for their victims. Ask yourself, do you believe being disarmed makes you safer? What kind of political leader would disarm his people while howling about the peril they face?

    These laws have not considered all the possible areas they might harm. For example, what if a crotchety old aunt complained about a blustery nephew who also is a Federal Firearms Licensee and established dealer? What if the nephew is a licensee who operates a pawn shop? What if the nephew stores a neighbor’s firearms because his safe is large enough? What about a nephew whose firearms are stored somewhere else? And so on.

    The Supreme Court isn’t about to jeopardize its own reputation by reducing the ability of private citizens to defend themselves. It’s especially important because currently, half the nation’s murders occur in only 63 counties while the other half are spread across the other 3,081 counties. Said another way, 15 percent had one murder and 54 percent of the nation’s counties had no murders at all.

    Besides, they’re sick of our paralyzed congress creating ambiguous laws that ultimately land in the Supreme Court. They know it’s easy to blame the tools used for murder and to write acts that impede acquisition by peaceable, lawful citizens.

    They know it’s far more difficult to focus on the more complex reality of why incomprehensible murderers do what they do. If something is to be done, perhaps it should be focused on the mental defectives, criminals, terrorists and illegal aliens.

    1. Just a quick fact. If a domestic violence victim’s abuser owns a gun they are 5 times more likely to be murdered by that abuser.

  3. How many new petitions for use of ERPO will really be about custody battles and bitter divorce negotiations?

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