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Colorado judge issues first gun confiscation denial under new red flag gun law

The denial was in a 2A sanctuary county

Douglas County Sheriff Tony Spurlock (left) is in the hearing for the red flag gun bill that lets law enforcement remove firearms from a person experiencing a mental health crisis on Feb. 21, 2019. (Hyoung Chang/MediaNews Group/The Denver Post via Getty Images)

A judge in Colorado denied a law enforcement request to confiscate a man's guns under Colorado's red flag gun law, which just took effect Jan. 1, according to KCNC-TV.

The law allows for law enforcement or family members to file for an extreme risk protection order if they deem someone to be a danger to themselves or others, leaving the final decision up to a judge.

In the case of this denial, a woman in Limon, Colorado, reported to police that she was being verbally and physically threatened by a man with a handgun, who she claims had a problem with drugs and alcohol.

A judge in Lincoln County, where the order was filed, denied the request, but the reason for the denial has not been made public.

Lincoln County is considered a Second Amendment sanctuary, where residents have voted to not honor the red flag law, although Democratic state Rep. Alec Garnett said even the denial shows that the law worked as intended.

Of the four extreme risk protection orders that have been filed this month, three of them have been approved — two in Denver County and one in Larimer County.

When a judge approves an extreme risk protection order, a court hearing must take place within the next two weeks to determine if the person's guns should be held for up to 364 days.

The stated intent behind red flag laws is the idea that people who commit acts of gun violence often show signs of dangerous behavior or mental instability leading up to the act. So, if such behavior can be flagged by family members or police, it's possible that tragedies can be prevented.

However, many gun owners view the laws as a dangerous infringement on Second Amendment rights, and fear ways such laws could be abused to take guns from law-abiding citizens without cause.

According to CBS News, the push for red flag laws can be traced back to an incident in which one Douglas County sheriff's deputy was killed and five officers hit during a shootout with a man who was known to own numerous firearms and suffer from mental illness before the day he barricaded himself in his home on New Year's Eve 2017.

One last thing…
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