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Fremont County sheriff has concerns about enforcing new Red Flag law

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FREMONT COUNTY, Colo. (KRDO) -- The long-awaited and controversial new Red Flag law in Colorado has become official.

It allows law enforcement to seize someone's firearms if they've been deemed mentally unstable by an Extreme Risk Protection Order.

Fremont County Sheriff Allen Cooper was one of the first law enforcement leaders to speak out against it.

"I feel that it's a little better than I thought it was going to be but I still have some issues with the language. Particularly, we're going after firearms and we're doing very very little to deal with the individual that is the problem," Cooper said.

In February after the bill was introduced at the Colorado State legislature, Fremont County passed a resolution deeming themselves a "2nd Amendment Sanctuary."

Dwayne McFall, County Commissioner for District 3 said at the time, "the sheriff will not enforce those [Red Flag] laws.”

Cooper told KRDO, "I swore to uphold the Constitution of the United States first, and my way of thinking is that takes precedence over the state’s constitution."

Nearly a year later, Cooper was asked, "if an [Extreme Risk Protection] order comes, and for whatever reason and you decide not to follow through with that court order, it could you put in contempt of court. Do you think it would ever come to that?"

He answered, "potentially, potentially."

Although Cooper was quick to say he doesn't disagree with the entire law.

He said, "Are there people I believe should not have firearms? Absolutely, absolutely."

"One of the issues that law enforcement has had is that clinicians, doctors, some family members are aware that someone has a significant mental illness or is potentially being radicalized in one fashion or another," Cooper added. "That information needs to be transmitted as quickly as possible to law enforcement."

As for moving forward, the sheriff is still figuring out what policy to put in place.

"There is so much uncertainty. I have not had a conversation with the Chief Judge on what his plan is moving forward. I haven't seen any documents from the court. We're reviewing our policy," he said.

Other county sheriff's offices have declined to speak on the Red Flag Law. El Paso County tells us they are still working on their own policy.

The Douglas County Sheriff's Office says they've made their stance clear -- Sheriff Tony Spurlock was the main proponent behind the law's passing.

Fremont County / Local News
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Krystal Story

Krystal is a reporter for KRDO. Learn more about Krystal here.

Comments

9 Comments

  1. we want to stop the shootings!!!! BUT we don’t really wanna do ANYTHING about it……just words and posturing.

    1. The law might prevent a shooting. Most likely not as it will be hard to get a judge to sign off on it. The problem with this law is you are presumed guilty until you prove yourself innocent.
      There are better ways to prevent or discourage shootings and this is not one of them. It sounds good but because of Habeas Corpus there is a really good chance that it is unconstitutional. You Can’t punish someone before they get their chance to face their accuser and or a judge. They did the same with illegal immigrants. You really can’t hold them or deem them illegal until they see the judge. So why wouldn’t we afford American Citizens the same right. That is the problem with the whole law.

      1. “There are better ways to prevent or discourage shootings and this is not one of them.”
        .
        Many people have been trying to find those better ways for some time. So if you have insight that no one else has, now’s the time to bring it out.
        .
        But you’re obviously correct about the presumption of guilt, which is the part that bothers me the most. And because of that alone, I have a hard time supporting the law.

  2. Take someone’s Guns under the provisions of the RFL then that individual will procure an illegal firearm just like the rest of those ‘law abiding criminals’.

  3. “It allows law enforcement to seize someone’s firearms if they’ve been deemed mentally unstable…”

    …but leaves the mentally unstable person on the streets to still wreak havoc with another weapon, or the gun that the cops missed.

    1. The problem is the judge has to make his decision based on what the plaintiff says the issues are. No where in the law does it state that prior to taking any ones guns that a judge will have any form of a psych eval. When did a judge become an expert? This is a law that was pushed through by democrats and it is the worse thing ever. You will never stop shootings, just like you will never stop texting and driving and DUI, which by the way we have very strong laws for both and it has done very little to deter them. Look at the CDOT signs which said there were over 500 accidents due to distracted driving but yet people still text and drive. Only criminals will have guns and this law does little to help. I have never seen such a poorly written law but what do you expect when it gets rushed through to make people happy.

  4. I can understand the concerns about this law. There are some valid ones, in my opinion, as well as some unfounded ones. But the law is the law, and if supposed law enforcement officers at any level refuse to uphold the law, they should resign from those positions of trust immediately.

    1. Law enforcement is sworn to uphold the laws of the Constitution. This law is not Constitutional. It has nothing to do with the guns themselves, but with having something taken from you without due process.

      The Fifth Amendment says to the federal government that no one shall be “deprived of life, liberty or property without due process of law.” There it is, written in plain English for everyone but gun grabbers to understand.

  5. You don’t seem to have a problem enforcing unconstitutional drug laws. You and your officers don’t seem to have any issues violating due process when enforcing laws against the poor. You even protect unconstitutional practices committed by corporations such as Walmart. You’ve been allowing these violations of the constitution for decades and now you want us to believe you care about the people’s constitutional rights? If you want the people to begin the process of trust you must first be honest with us and you show no signs of any honesty with the public so take your hollow words and keep them were they belong.

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