Colorado’s red-flag law invoked, likely for the first time, in Denver case |

Colorado’s red-flag law invoked, likely for the first time, in Denver case

Elise Schmelzer The Denver Post
In this Feb. 14, 2019 file photo, Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock addresses members of the media in the west foyer of the State Capitol in Denver as law enforcement officers, gun violence prevention advocates, students and state legislators gather to unveil new legislation to prevent gun violence and protect first responders known as the “Red Flag” bill.
Helen H. Richardson / The Denver Post

One day after Colorado’s red-flag law came into effect, a Denver judge temporarily granted a police officer’s request to keep a suicidal man’s confiscated guns under the new firearm seizure law.

Denver police filed the petition for the temporary extreme risk protection order Jan. 2 in Denver Probate Court for a man suspected of beating his wife and who made suicidal statements when contacted by officers, according to a copy of the petition obtained by The Denver Post.

The petition likely is the first filed under the state’s red-flag law, which allows family members and law enforcement to ask that a person’s guns be removed if they present a danger to themselves or others. The law, passed in the 2019 legislative session, has prompted controversy across the state, including sparking some sheriffs to say they won’t enforce the law because it violates people’s constitutional right to bear arms.

“This is the first one to my knowledge, but there are possibly others,” said Jon Sarché, spokesman for the Colorado Judicial Department.

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