Colorado Sheriff: I'll Go to Jail Before I Enforce Gun Seizing "Red Flag" Law

In this Jan. 4, 2013 photo, handguns are displayed in the sales area of Sandy Springs Gun Club and Range, in Sandy Springs, Ga. In Connecticut and Colorado, scenes of the most deadly U.S. mass shootings in 2012, people were less enthusiastic about buying new guns at the end of the year than in most other states, according to an Associated Press analysis of new FBI data. The biggest surges in background checks for people who want to carry or buy guns occurred in states in the South and West. (AP Photo/Robert Ray)

A Colorado Sheriff in Weld County is choosing to go to jail himself over enforcing a new state law that would force him to confiscate firearms from citizens without due process.


According to CNN, Sheriff Steve Reams does not approve of Colorado’s soon to be implemented “red flag” law which would allow authorities to seize guns from Colorado citizens temporarily if a family member, a roommate, or law enforcement deem a person to be unfit to possess a firearm and petition a judge to remove his or her right to bear arms.

A hearing occurs without the knowledge of the person in question, and should the judge give approval, the firearms are seized without the consent of the owner. A second hearing is then had in which the owner then has to prove that he or she is of the right mind to own a firearm.

As you can see, this can present major problems as it treats the right to own a firearm as a privilege that can be suspended at any given moment and forces the U.S. citizen to earn the right back.

Even the burden of proof in order to seize the guns is low as it only requires a “preponderance of evidence,” which is usually used in civil cases, as opposed to “beyond a reasonable doubt,” which is standard for criminal trials.

Sheriff Reams is not going to enforce such a law.

“Going in and taking their guns and leaving the scene, I can’t see how that makes them less of a risk. It just takes one tool away,” said Reams, arguing that people bent on hurting others will find another way to do it.


For Reams, not enforcing this law is “a matter of doing what’s right.”

Weld County isn’t the only one resisting the new law. According to CNN, 32 counties are prepared to resist it, dubbing themselves Second Amendment sanctuaries:

“We’re putting a line in the sand for what we believe right now is support (for) constitutional laws,” said Douglas County Commissioner Roger Partridge.

The bill sailed through last Wednesday in both the Democrat-controlled House and Senate with zero Republican backing. It’s now headed to Governor Jared Polis’s desk.

Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser isn’t worried about this revolt and said that when the bill is signed into law, then the law enforcement officers will fall in and obey. Reams, however, made it clear that no matter what, that law isn’t going to be enforced in his county on his watch.

“I’m not bluffing,” he said.


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