Colorado Counties Respond To Red Flag Law

AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

It wasn’t all that long ago that I generally assumed Colorado was a fairly pro-gun state. I mean, it wasn’t as pro-gun as some, but I figured if I ever moved there, I wouldn’t have to worry about what guns I have are still legal or anything like that.


Then things shifted a few years ago. The state started restricting magazine sizes and things of that sort. Now, Colorado has passed a red flag law as well.

As a result, I don’t think of it as pro-gun and haven’t for a long time.

But like in so many other states in this great land of ours, individual counties are stepping up.

Law enforcement officials are split on the bill, and some counties have passed “Second Amendment Sanctuary County” resolutions, citing due process concerns.

Custer and Fremont counties have both passed resolutions which would mean sheriffs in those counties wouldn’t have to enforce ERPOs if the bill becomes a law.

Democratic House Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver, mocked the counties in a floor speech before the bill’s passage Monday.

“Now we have sanctuary counties,” he said. “I mean, do we have to talk about the ridiculousness of sanctuary counties? You’re not going to enforce a judicial order?”

It’s funny that Garnett has opted to mock sanctuary counties. I can’t find anywhere where he’s mocked sanctuary cities for illegal immigrants, yet isn’t the principle similar enough to warrant mockery?


The difference is that illegal immigrants have already broken the law, yet cities are still protecting them. Meanwhile, Second Amendment sanctuary counties are protecting law-abiding citizens who have done nothing wrong.

Garnett thinks this is worth mocking.

Trust me, sport. It isn’t.

Meanwhile, the counties fired back with their own mockery. They mocked Garnett and his fellow gun grabbers.

The counties of Weld and Montezuma have also considered passing sanctuary county measures. Sheriffs in El Paso and Teller Counties have also said they won’t back the bill.

Dave Kopel, research director for the Independence Institute and head of its Second Amendment Project, said the resolutions “don’t formally negate state laws.”

“If a county sheriff won’t enforce a particular law, then the only available enforcers are municipal police plus state police,” he said.

Except in communities where the county sheriff or a county police department are the law enforcement. Then there are only state police who often have plenty more on their plate than this kind of thing.

Further, even in communities with municipal police departments, don’t be surprised if you see them refusing to enforce these laws as well. Not every municipality classified as a city is keen on gun control schemes, especially when it comes to disarming law-abiding citizens without proper due process of law.


However, it should be noted that Kopel isn’t coming for an anti-gun position, necessarily. The Independence Institute is a libertarian group and Kopel seems like a pro-gun kind of guy. His point isn’t wrong, either. If a county decides to embrace sanctuary status, that only applies to areas the counties have control over. Municipalities, however, are rarely answerable to the county in most things. It’s a fair point.

And all the more reason we need to shut these kinds of bills down before they become law.

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