The following is a video transcript.
Colorado recently enacted its red flag law, which became effective in April of 2019. The act allows a family member, household member, or law enforcement officer to petition a court for a temporary extreme risk protection order prohibiting the subject from possessing or purchasing a firearm and authorizing law enforcement to obtain a search warrant and seize firearms from the subject.
Considering Factors for a Petition
A court receiving such a petition is to determine whether to issue the order based on the totality of the circumstances, considering factors including:
- Recent threats of violence against themselves or others;
- Prior restraining orders and domestic violence convictions;
- A history of violence or stalking; and
- Evidence of drug or alcohol abuse.
The court may then issue the extreme risk protection order if it finds by a preponderance of evidence that the subject poses a significant risk of causing personal injury to themselves or others in the near future by having in his or her custody or control a firearm, or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm.
What Happens Next…
While the protection order may be issued without notice to the subject, after issuing the initial order, the court must schedule a hearing to be held within 14 days to provide notice to the subject and allow the subject to appear at the hearing. Upon notice and a hearing, the court may allow the protection order to expire or extend it for a maximum of a year.
Because Colorado’s red flag law is so new, there are no published decisions regarding its validity or applicability. It remains to be seen how often and in what circumstances the law will be applied.
If you have any questions about this or anything else, feel free to call U.S. LawShield and ask to speak with an Independent Program Attorney. I am always happy to speak with U.S. LawShield members.