County OKs 2nd Amendment ‘preservation’ resolution
Garfield County commissioners on Monday moved forward with plans to preserve Second Amendment rights in the county, in reaction to the state’s red flag gun bill that appears headed toward law.
“It is the desire of the Garfield County Board of County Commissioners to declare its support for the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution … and [provisions of] the Colorado Constitution protecting citizens’ inalienable and individual right to keep and bear arms,” reads a resolution passed by the commissioners on Monday.
Concerned about the red flag gun bill that would allow law enforcement to remove guns from someone deemed mentally unstable by a judge, Garfield County Sheriff Lou Vallario requested the commissioners make the county a Second Amendment “preservation county.”
Garfield County joins several other Colorado counties that have stated opposition to the bill, including some declaring as Second Amendment sanctuary counties.
The red flag bill, which passed the Democrat-controlled Senate and House and is awaiting Gov. Jared Polis’s signature, creates the ability for a family, household member or law enforcement officer to petition the court to remove firearms from people deemed dangerous.
The Garfield commissioners list the bill’s potential to infringe upon Garfield County residents’ constitutional rights as one reason for making the statement.
While they later clarified the resolution serves as a recommendation, not law, commissioners said they felt it was a statement they wanted to make.
The resolution indicates the red flag gun bill opens the door for peace officers to seize a person’s property with no evidence of a crime.
It “shifts the burden of proof to gun owners accused to prove they aren’t a danger,” the resolution states.
Commissioners also question how the bill hopes to address mental health and substance abuse issues without providing services or funding for mental health.
The bill “fails to address the mental health crisis by opting to finalize and criminalise lawful conduct, instead of providing services to people in need,” it states.
“You always hear when a crime is committed with a gun it is referred to as gun violence,” Vallario said in favor of the resolution on Monday. “Do you ever hear of the thousands of people that are injured and killed with the use of sharp objects or knives as knife violence?”
(Editor’s note: This story has been corrected from the original online and print versions to remove the words “sanctuary county,” and replace it with “Second Amendment preservation county,” as stated in the resolution.)
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