A new Colorado measure allowing a person’s firearms to be confiscated without a criminal charge under limited circumstances was invoked just one day after becoming law.
The so-called “red flag” law took effect on New Year’s Day, and on January 2, Denver Police formally asked a judge to let them take away two guns from a man involved in a domestic dispute.
The law allows family, household members and law enforcement to petition for a court order to temporarily take guns away from an individual deemed to be at significant risk of hurting themselves or others by having a firearm.
Denver police officers were handling a domestic violence call on December 29 when they discovered the suspect had a loaded Glock pistol in his waistband, according to a filing in Denver Probate Court.
The affidavit says the man threatened to “off himself” and was visibly intoxicated. An officer testified that the man later acknowledged being drunk and said it was a “good thing they stopped me.” He voluntarily turned in another handgun in his possession.
Police filed a request to keep his firearms under the new law because of a “credible threat” that they could be used unlawfully or recklessly.
On January 2, prosecutors declined to press charges, which would force police to return the guns unless a judge allows them to be confiscated under the new law.
President Trump had called for the “red flag” laws in the wake of recent mass shootings. Gun control opponents argue the law violates Second Amendment rights and have threatened legal action. Some Colorado sheriffs have vowed not to enforce the law in their counties.