As I’ve previously written, County and City law enforcement throughout Colorado have made it clear that the state’s new “red flag” law is unconstitutional, and should judges order the carrying out of the law, officers would choose to face jail time instead of carrying out the order.
The “red flag” law is, in short, a third party holding a court hearing on whether or not someone is fit to own a firearm. The gun owner is not made aware of the hearing and is granted no opportunity to defend themselves. Should the search and seizure be ordered by the judge, a second hearing then occurs where the gun owner is tasked with proving that they deserve to have their Second Amendment right reinstated.
Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams has been the loudest voice among those in law enforcement speaking out against the law, and has told The Hill’s Buck Sexton that this law also puts officers in unnecessary risk, if not physically then legally:
“That’s the issue. If this ex parte hearing happens, and a judge rules that a person can’t control their weapons, at that same hearing, the judge can also issue a search warrant based on the information of the affiant, or the person asking for the order,” Steve Reams, the sheriff of Weld County, told Hill.TV’s Krystal Ball and Buck Sexton on “Rising.”
“That’s where this bill sorely goes awry because it asks law enforcement, or actually it demands law enforcement to go conduct a search warrant on the word of a third party and seize someone’s firearms,” he continued.
“That’s asking for a host of issues, and quite frankly, it’s putting my officers in a position where I don’t think it’s safe for them either,” he said. “In my mind, that’s a clear violation of the Constitution on the Fourth and Fifth amendments.”
— HILLTV (@HillTVLive) April 8, 2019
As of this writing, 32 counties have made it clear that they’re ready to resist the “red flag” law. Some Democratic lawmakers have stated they are willing to see law enforcement go to jail after failing to enforce the “red flag” law, but that once the law is implemented law enforcement offices everywhere will fall in line.