DENVER -- A series of recent fatal shootings in Colorado and nationwide is leading Gov. John Hickenlooper and state Democratic lawmakers to push for a “ red flag law ” that would allow judges to temporarily seize guns from people they consider to be a threat.
The late effort is part of a nationwide discussion about the intersection of mental health and the Second Amendment after the February massacre at a South Florida high school and the fatal shooting of a Douglas County sheriff’s deputy almost two months earlier — sparking what could be one of the largest policy pushes this year at the state Capitol.
Major firearm legislation has not been passed in Colorado since 2013 , when two Democrats were recalled over their support for measures expanding background check requirements and outlawing high-capacity magazines.
“This is an appropriate step for states to take,” said Assistant House Majority Leader Alec Garnett, a Denver Democrat who is among those leading the legislative effort. “I’m trying hard to create a Colorado solution that can be signed by the governor.”
Hickenlooper, a term-limited Democrat, supports a “red flag” law, but he is deferring to the General Assembly to draft a bill. Though if no action is taken, the governor acknowledged Thursday, he would consider executive action on the issue.