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.