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Gov. Polis calls for enforcement of Colorado’s “Red Flag Laws”

KRDO

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. (KRDO) -- Over the weekend, Colorado Governor Jared Polis told NBC's "Meet the Press" that he is considering reforms to his state's "red flag" law in the aftermath of the mass shooting at Club Q in Colorado Springs.

Polis said Colorado's Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) law, which allows law enforcement or friends and family of an individual to ask a court judge to take away an individual's guns, was not used in the case against Anderson Aldrich, the alleged Club Q shooter.

The ERPO law has come into focus after 13 Investigates obtained video of Aldrich being arrested at a Lorson Ranch home in June 2021. He was arrested on five felony charges, accused of threatening his mother and grandparents with explosives.

"We're certainly going to take a hard look at why [the] red flag law wasn't used … what can be used to better publicize, make available, add different parties to make sure that it's used when it should be used," Polis said on NBC's "Meet the Press."

Local law enforcement including El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder and 4th Judicial District Attorney Michael Allen have not spoken about their view on Colorado's ERPO law and how it pertains to Aldrich's prior case since the shooting.

Back in 2019, when the law was passed, Sheriff Elder told KRDO that he would not be enforcing it.

"We are not going to pursue these on our own," Elder said. "Meaning the Sheriff's Office isn't going to run over and try to get a court order. I'm not about to start that."

Polis said that in last year's case, involving the suspect's mother, neither she nor the local sheriff pursued an order under the red flag law. The El Paso County Sheriff's Office was the arresting agency.

According to ABC News, Aldrich legally purchased the rifle used in the attack on Club Q.

Monday, 13 Investigates spoke with El Paso County Representative and future Senator for District 11 Tony Exum, who was a sponsor on the ERPO legislation in 2019.

Exum said he is very disappointed that law enforcement in the Pikes Peak region has chosen to oppose the red flag law.

"They are violating their oath of office because their oath of office says they will uphold the laws of the state," Exum said.

Exum said he believes there was a "missed opportunity" when it comes to placing an ERPO on Aldrich.

"Any piece of legislation is only as good as the paper that it's written on if it's not enforced," Exum said. "We have to give laws an opportunity to work, and when you have individuals that are in law enforcement that come out against a law when it is introduced, to me, that's not giving it an opportunity."

Elder and the Sheriff's Office declined to speak about red flags laws since the Club Q shooting. They cited an "active investigation" as their reason why.

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Sean Rice

Sean is reporter with the 13 Investigates team. Learn more about him here.

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