A growing number of states are now considering enacting an array of dangerous gun-control laws known as “red flag” laws. These Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOs) threaten Americans’ Second Amendment rights by seeking to strip law-abiding citizens of their guns without due process. Here at the USCCA, we believe that ERPOs, or so-called “red flag” laws, are the wrong approach. These laws make it far too easy for people with personal vendettas or bad intentions to strip law-abiding, responsibly armed Americans of their right to self-defense for no reason.
Conflict of Duty in Colorado
Unfortunately, despite vocal opposition from half of the state’s county governments, Colorado recently became the latest state to pass a “red flag” bill into law. Under the law, after a complaint is made, a judge will hold a hearing without the gun owner being present to determine whether or not to issue the order for up to 14 days. The order could be extended for as long as one year.
This is a clear violation of not only one’s Second Amendment rights but also one’s Fourth Amendment right to due process — and sheriffs in Colorado agree. At least 10 sheriffs have said they would not enforce the law.
“If a judge issues an order saying a person can’t possess weapons and also compels law enforcement to perform a search warrant to seek out those guns, I believe that’s a violation of a person’s constitutional rights … I have a hard choice at that point,” Sheriff Steve Reams of Weld County said. “I can potentially violate someone’s constitutional rights. Or I can violate a court order. I would rather be on the side of violating a court order than someone’s rights.”
Nearly three dozen Colorado counties have passed resolutions saying they would not enforce the legislation.
ERPOs Around the Nation
“Red flag” laws are also under consideration in several other states, including in Alabama and Pennsylvania. Luckily, many counties across the country are passing resolutions to make themselves “sanctuary counties” that refuse to enforce these unconstitutional laws.
These laws are nothing but an anti-freedom tactic, promoted by the anti-gun lobby, to seize guns. The USCCA remains committed to opposing such unconstitutional efforts on state and federal levels.
Lastly, in case you missed it, I appeared on Lars Larson’s nationally syndicated radio show this past week to discuss how our members are prepared to defend themselves in active shooting situations.
Quote of the Week
- “I know several people who have gone to worship who had no idea they were committing a felony. To me, it’s concerning because it makes any house of worship that happens to have a school an incredibly soft target. It leaves you pretty vulnerable.” -Church Operations Director Ron Davault on why Indiana should pass legislation allowing people to carry guns into churches (WXIN Fox-Indianapolis, IN)
Data Point You Should Know
- Ten states have now passed “red flag” legislation in the last year. (The Washington Post)
About Tim Schmidt
Tim Schmidt, president and founder of the USCCA, received a B.S. in mechanical engineering from Michigan Tech University. After working for a medical equipment company and then a computer hardware company, Tim started his first successful business, Schmidt Engineering, in 1997. In 2003, Tim Schmidt and Tonnie Schmidt began publishing Concealed Carry Magazine, a self-defense magazine that focuses on responsible firearms ownership. The magazine grew into a national association providing self-defense education and training to more than 420,000 members. Tim enjoys boxing, running, reading, shooting and riding motorcycles.