Rocky Mountain Gun Owners File Suit Against Colorado’s ‘Red Flag’ Law

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A gun-rights group in Colorado sued Democratic Gov. Jared Polis Thursday over the state’s “red flag” gun law, alleging the process used to pass the bill violated the state’s constitution.

The suit was filed by Rocky Mountain Gun Owners (RMGO), and Republican Reps. Patrick Neville, Lori Saine and Dave Williams, according to court documentsobtained by Colorado Public Radio.

The law, dubbed “red flag,” was signed Apr. 12 after the passage of H.B. 1177. It enables family or authorities to ask the court to remove guns for up to a year from someone deemed dangerous. Some sheriffs have publicly vowed not to enforce it.

Those who take issue with the new law believe its enforcement lacks due process, because the accused is not represented prior to the issue of a gunremoval order, and because the burden of proof rests on the accused to demonstrate they are no longer dangerous and should have their weapons returned.

RMGO wants to void the new law because of the way it was passed. The complaint alleges that during the legislative process, motions to have the bill read twice in its entirety were denied, thereby violating Colorado’s Constitution. The group seeks to have the law overturned.

“Democrats used illegal and unconstitutional tactics and methods to push a bill that would remove due process rights for our citizens.” RMGO’s president Dudley Brown said during a press conference Thursday.

Neville played a video at the conference of the Colorado House deliberating the H.B. 1177 on Mar. 1, showing a request from Republicans for a second reading, after which several clerks went to the House floor to read different portions of the bill aloud at the same time.

Republicans claim this process made the bill impossible to understand.

Colorado Republicans successfully sued over the same issue, according to the Denver Post. Senate Republicans successfully sued Senate Democratic President Leroy Garcia in March in Denver District Court for not reading a bill at length. The judge sided with Republicans, saying that bill readings have to be understandable.

Democrats argue the lawsuit is not about the legislative process, rather “this is about the gun lobby trying to unwind a popular measure to help save and protect lives in Colorado,” Democratic House Majority Leader Alec Garnett said in a statement to the Post.

The law is set to take effect January 2020.

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