Editorial: Ignore 'gun nut theatrics' and pass red flag law in Colorado

Colorado has a too-long history of innocent people being murdered by mentally ill people who were able to get and keep guns because of the handiwork of gun-rights zealots like the National Rifle Association and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

These groups and their political lackeys in the Colorado Legislature and Congress have for too long prevented real and meaningful gun control from taking effect.

No more. Colorado voters swept enough of these cruel, ignorant or banal obstructionists out of the way to allow for action.

Empowered Democrats can now make law what a majority of Colorado residents, police, sheriffs, prosecutors and deputies have repeatedly said they want: laws that allow cops to get guns away from mentally unstable people.


Colorado Red Flag law moving ahead

The measure, HB1177, was partly introduced by Rep. Tom Sullivan, D-Centennial. Sullivan's son, Alex, was one of the 12 people killed during the Aurora theater shooting in on July 20, 2012. It was his 27th birthday.

"I wear my son Alex's jacket every single day I come to the state Capitol," Sullivan said. "Watching your child's body drop onto the ground is as bad as it gets. And I'm going to do everything I can to make sure that none of you have to do that. I don't care what party you belong to, I'm going to do everything I can until this jacket falls off of me."

The man convicted of that crime … had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity, with his attorneys saying he suffered from mental illness.

Sullivan was a LEAP Forward endorsed candidate during the 2018 cycle, and is fulfilling a promise he made to sign on to red flag legislation in the state. HB 1177 is scheduled for a committee hearing this week, and LEAP Forward is grading action on the bill and scoring support.


LEAPer Tom Sullivan signs on to Colorado's 'Red Flag' legislation

Following through on a promise from December, Colorado Representative and LEAP Forward-endorsed 2018 candidate Tom Sullivan has cosponsored an attempt to pass an extreme risk protection order bill, HB 1177.

The legislation, which would allow a member of a person’s household or a law enforcement officer to petition a court to deem that individual as a threat to himself or others. Once a court issues the order, that person is required to surrender his or her firearms and any firearm permits that person possesses. The bill includes safeguards both on the amount of evidence required to issue the order and appeals, both for the person that is the subject of the order and the petitioner, who can request an extension before the original order requires.

I want to thank Rep. Sullivan and his cosponsors for following through on this legislation. LEAP Forward will be grading HB 1177 and scoring support.