Rocky Mountain Gun Owners plans lawsuit, backs recall efforts, over red-flag law

The conservative pro-gun group alleges Democrats violated the state constitution when side-stepping GOP attempts to stall the bill

Dudley Brown, executive director for Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, announced a lawsuit to overturn Colorado's red flag law on May 2, 2019. (Photo by John Herrick)
Dudley Brown, executive director for Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, announced a lawsuit to overturn Colorado's red flag law on May 2, 2019. (Photo by John Herrick)

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, a conservative pro-gun group, and Republican lawmakers are challenging Colorado’s red-flag law in Denver District Court, alleging Democrats failed to follow proper legislative procedure when passing the bill. 

In April, Gov. Jared Polis signed the red-flag policy, also known as an extreme risk protection order, into law. The measure, which seeks to reduce gun violence, allows law enforcement to temporarily confiscate a person’s firearms if a judge rules he or she is a threat to themselves or others. Since the February 2017 school shooting in Parkland, Fla., over a dozen states have passed similar red-flag laws.

The bill drew fierce pushback from Colorado’s Republican lawmakers, all of whom voted against it. Even Senate President Leroy Garcia, a Democrat, voted against the bill, reflecting Pueblo County’s support for  Donald Trump in 2016. Some county sheriffs say they won’t enforce the law.

During debate in the House earlier this year, GOP lawmakers asked that the bill be read aloud at length, which is their right, but which they used as a de facto filibuster to slow progress on that bill and others. Democrats responded by having multiple clerks read different sections of the bill at once.

The gun lobby alleges this was a violation of the Colorado Constitution, and therefore the law should be annulled. The gun owners cited a case earlier this year in which a Denver judge sided with Republicans who accused Senate Democrats of violating the state constitution when they had several computers read a 2,000-page bill. The judge ruled reading a bill read at length must be “intelligible and comprehensive.”

During a news conference, reporters asked why the group isn’t challenging the law under the 2nd Amendment, which spells out protections for gun owners.

“This does not preclude any other lawsuits we might file. In fact, we are pursuing another lawsuit in case this is not successful,” said Dudley Brown, executive director for the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners.

House Minority Leader Patrick Neville at a press conference when Rocky Mountain Gun Owners announced a lawsuit to overturn Colorado's red flag law on May 2, 2019. (Photo by John Herrick)
House Minority Leader Patrick Neville at a press conference when Rocky Mountain Gun Owners announced a lawsuit to overturn Colorado’s red flag law on May 2, 2019. (Photo by John Herrick)

Brown was flanked by House Minority Leader Patrick Neville of Castle Rock, Rep. Dave Williams of Colorado Springs, Rep. Steven Humphrey of Severance, and Rep. Lori Saine of Dacono.

He said the group is also backing recalls against several lawmakers — up to nine House members and three senators, including Rep. Tom Sullivan, a Democrat from Centennial whose son, Alex, was shot and killed in the 2012 Aurora theater massacre. Sullivan was a lead sponsor on the red-flag bill. That recall petition has yet to be filed with the Colorado secretary of state.

Brown refused to answer questions posed by a Colorado Independent reporter.

1 COMMENT

  1. The rabid gun nuts are out again, demanding that we ALL be under threat of a random loser having a bad day. These morons won’t allow for ANY reason to take someone’s penis replacements away, regardless of what they have been accused of. NO reason to try and prevent tragedy is enough for these people to grow up and recognize that their favorite toys have a down side.

    So a guy is in a bad divorce, and has threatened the wife and kids with death, and these MORONS STILL don’t see that this is a dangerous individual who has already said they INTEND to be a problem, they MUST still be allowed the most convenient means of carrying out their threats. God knows, they MUST be allowed to fulfill those threats, or the universe will cry. What about the rights of those he has threatened? What about THEIR right to be ALIVE?

    We lose more than 12 9-11’s EVERY YEAR thanks to guns, and yet those who are SUPPOSED to be in charge of society just don’t see 40,000 dead as a problem. And THAT is a problem. If there was a disease that killed 40,000 of us every year, they would be all over it, demanding some kind of vaccine to keep that from happening. If there was a natural disaster that took that many lives every year, we’d DO something about it (unless it was climate change, of course). Seems that even as eaten up with scandal as they are right now, the NRA still controls congress FAR more than WE do. As Celo said, “I guess the change in my pocket wasn’t enough”, and the next line applies, though I won’t type it here.

    Polls show that the vast majority of us out here, including most gun owners, WANT background checks. We WANT some kind of responsible plan that keeps guns OUT of the hands of the mentally challenged, something Two Scoops has already written off, purely because Obama put it in place. More people will die because the MORON in the white house is holding a grudge against the previous occupant. SUCH a mature way to run the country.

    We can either tell the NRA and the rest of the gun nuts to grow up and DO something or we can keep letting the lunatics kill 40,000 of us (and themselves) every year. I think we KNOW which we’re going to do, thanks to the MONEY in politics. Until that changes, NOTHING else will. Say good bye to 40,000 of your fellow countrymen, they won’t live to see next year. But at least no guns will be insulted by anyone actually DOING anything about them. Can’t have that, now, can we?

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