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COLORADO - Action needed now! HB-18-1436

Discussion in 'Activism' started by coloradokevin, May 3, 2018.

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  1. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    The Colorado legislature snuck in a late-session bill that amounts to a firearms confiscation law (whereby people who know you can petition to have your guns taken from you if they think you're dangerous).

    No one really expected this bill to end up in a floor vote in the Colorado House, but it is being voted on tomorrow. Unfortunately it showed up rather unexpectedly, so I haven't even had a chance to read the bill myself... it does seem to be moving forward with ram-rod tactics here.

    The Rocky Mountain Gun Owners group has sent out a few e-mails on this issue today, and they provided a couple of links that will allow you to e-mail all of the Colorado representatives and senators.

    THIS IS BEING VOTED ON TOMORROW (Friday, May 4th). PLEASE DON'T DELAY.

    Here are the links RMGO e-mailed to me this afternoon. It only takes a few seconds to send your message, pre-formatted or in your own words, and it should open up as an e-mail box with pre-filled addresses:


    First -- Click here to email key Representatives all at once NOW

    Second - Click here to email key Senators all at once NOW
     
  2. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Under the petition...

    The answers here might be helpful in determining whether this bill is as onerous as advertised:
    https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb18-1436
    The bill creates the ability for a family or household member or a law enforcement officer to petition the court for a temporary extreme risk protection order (ERPO). The petitioner must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that a person poses a significant risk to self or others by having a firearm in her or her custody or control or by possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearm. The petitioner must submit an affidavit signed under oath and penalty of perjury that sets forth facts to support the issuance of a temporary ERPO and a reasonable basis for believing they exist. The court must hold a temporary ERPO hearing in person or by telephone on the day the petition is filed or on the court day immediately following the day the petition is filed.

    After issuance of a temporary ERPO, the court must schedule a second hearing no later than 7 days following the issuance to determine whether the issuance of a continuing ERPO is warranted. If a family or household member or a law enforcement officer establishes by clear and convincing evidence that a person poses a significant risk to self or others by having a firearm in his or her custody or control or by possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearm, the court may issue a continuing ERPO. The ERPO would prohibit the respondent from possessing, controlling, purchasing, or receiving a firearm for 182 days.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: May 4, 2018
  3. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    The standard for “guilt” here is a much lower standard than that which needs to be established for “guilt” in a criminal case.

    Personally, I don’t support legislation that can relieve me of a fundamental right on the basis of a legal standard that amounts to proof that is slightly more convincing than a coin toss chance (that is the “preponderance of the evidence” standard - just more than 50%).

    Scorned lovers and disenchanted family members will exploit statutes like these, and the person facing such an allegation basically gets one chance to argue for a reinstatement of their rights. It merely takes an ex saying something like: “he has talked about murdering people and has lots of guns”. Then, suddenly, that person has to convince the courts that his scorned lover’s claims are false. What happens when the judge is anti-gun, as many are?

    If this was good law, it wouldn’t need to be rammed through as quickly as possible (before everyone could digest its implications).

    I hope a few people have written to the legislature, since activism seems to be the most frequently ignored sub forum on THR.
     
  4. Jerseykris

    Jerseykris Member

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    Thanks for posting the language from the bill, very informative.

    To be honest, I'm kind of on the fence on this one. And before anyone equates that statement as me being for gun control, that's not how I'm approaching this.

    One key of the law I like is the specified temporary nature of the ERPO, the initial seven day and continuous time limits.

    If the goal is not to ban guns, but rather to keep the 'bad guys' from having guns during critical moments, I think bills like this Can be effective. I know I'm in the minority here, but I'm a little less concerned with the temporary restraint on a potentially dangerous person's fundamental right to his firearms than I am the fundamental rights of his family and neighbors to live without undue threat of death or injury.

    All of that being said, I agree with you as to the standard being used (preponderance of evidence) to get the ERPO in the first place, and like you I see a lot of potential opportunity for abuse. The Clear and Convincing (much higher than preponderance) standard should be applied at both prongs. But even then I see the possibility of abuse.

    I would need to see the mechanics of how a person would go about appealing/fighting the decision to issue an ERPO against them. If fighting/appealing a ERPO is an expensive or useless endeavor, then the law is lop-sided and shouldn't stand.

    The other thing I'd be concerned about is, let's say an ERPO is issued (in a case where we'd all agree it was rightfully so), how long does that stay on a person's record? i.e. -'Sorry Sir, according to this you had a ERPO issued against you 14 years ago. No soup for you.' I'd really like to know the answer to how long a record of a temporary ERPO would follow a person around.
     
  5. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    Well, that's part of the issue... it isn't a long road from that point to suggesting that the very person who was impacted by the ERPO at the state level is then declared a "mental defective" at the federal level, and forever barred from purchasing firearms.

    I know a person who was deemed a mental defective some ten years ago. I spoke of the story here at that time. Basically, he had a bad breakup with a girlfriend, made some stupid suicidal statements, and got thrown on an "emergency mental health hold". The hospital reported him as a mental defective, and to this day he cannot buy a firearm. He's been trying to work with a lawyer to rectify this situation, but to this point it has had no effect. The ironic part of the whole thing is that this same individual has a federal explosives transport license (or whatever that's called), because he works for companies that do blasting, and he drives for them with a CDL. Can't have guns, but can drive around with thousands of pounds of explosives in a vehicle!

    Basically, my issue is this: ANY infringement on a fundamental right should only be considered after careful deliberation, and a firm analysis of unintended consequences. This is a last minute bill that will be rammed through before most of us have any time to think about it. It has hardly even been mentioned in the news, and most gun owners out here don't even know that the vote is about to take place. That is not the way to pass a piece of legislation that can (and will to some degree) infringe upon a person's inalienable rights!

    I'm a career law enforcement officer, and the last thing I want to see is a mentally unstable person running around with a gun. But, I am a firm believer that the left's "one more law will make us safe" idea is not the right approach.

    The bad could outweigh the good with this bill, which is why I urge our representatives to vote against it at this time.
     
  6. IlikeSA

    IlikeSA Member

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  7. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    This wasn't entirely surprising. The best hope of stopping the bill has always been the Senate, which has a *slight* Republican majority. That's why it's so important to write in to those legislators right now! If even a couple of Republicans vote in favor of this bill in the Senate, it's a sure thing that the governor will sign it.
     
  8. Fine Figure of a Man

    Fine Figure of a Man Member

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    The thin edge of a wedge.
     
  9. MEHavey

    MEHavey Member

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    Tell me.... what would the proper elements be of a
    (1)temporary ....
    (2)
    extreme risk ....
    (3)protection .....order.
    ...establish[ed] by a preponderance of evidence [ before a judge] that a person poses
    (4)significant risk to
    (5)self or others

    Consider each of the 5 elements as you think about it... and the req'd timeliness that can be critical.

    I'd like to know.

    .
     
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  10. coloradokevin

    coloradokevin Member

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    This bill is was passed in the House, but has now been defeated in committee in the state Senate.

    Thank you to any/all of you who sent a letter on behalf of a pro-2A position!
     
  11. Keyfer 55

    Keyfer 55 Member

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    Got to Vote them out of office!!!
     
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