By Rick Sallinger

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – Douglas County Commissioners have passed a resolution that opposes a state gun bill championed by their sheriff. The so-called Red Flag bill would allow confiscation of guns, under certain conditions, from those mentally disturbed presenting a danger.

(credit: CBS)

Testifying before the three commissioners, Sheriff Tony Spurlock said legislation is needed to prevent people, deemed by a judge, “to be a danger to themselves or others to have access to firearms.”

“We should never ever put mental health and evil in the same sentence,” he said.

It was more than a year ago when one of his deputies was killed trying to take in a heavily-armed man who had be known to have mental issues.

(credit: Douglas County Sheriff)

Since then Spurlock has championed the “Red Flag Bill” now before the Colorado state legislature.

“Two groups don’t get to carry guns: those who are felons, and those who are mentally ill that they are a danger to themselves or others,” Spurlock said before a large gathering at the meeting.

One by one, people took to the microphone to either support the sheriff or argue against his point of view.

“Apparently Sheriff Spurlock has not read the right to bear arms in the Second Amendment to the Constitution (of the United States),” one man among the many supporting the resolution said.

Another opposed it by urging the commissioners to stand behind the judgement of their sheriff.

(credit: CBS)

“I have never had an interaction with a law enforcement officer where I told them how to do their job that ended well, so i ask you to do the same,” he said.

But the commissioners were not swayed. Their vote was unanimous not to fund anything deemed to be unconstitutional especially violations of the right to bear arms.

Commissioner Lori Thomas addressed the room just before the vote, “We are not going to do a knee jerk resolution or something that’s going to grab guns that is not going to solve the problem.”

The commissioners took great pains to say they are not declaring their jurisdiction a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County” as other Colorado counties have done in opposition to the red flag bill.

Rick Sallinger

  1. Gene Ralno says:

    Red flag laws in more than a dozen states remind me of the pitiful General Bernard Montgomery’s Operation Market Garden. Eisenhower allowed his foolishness deemed by most to have been doomed for lack of analysis and planning. It simply overreached. The analogy is red flag laws also reach too far. They ignore the need for psychiatric diagnoses from both the state and the defendant. Failure to require psychiatric reports relegates the decision to judges and law officers regarding whether the accused is unbalanced or not. Amateur diagnoses such as these also are foolish and doomed.

    It would be much more in keeping with U.S. jurisprudence to arrest and detain the accused for 24-72 hours during which psychiatric services could be employed. And if the accused is found to be a danger to self or others, the incarceration could be extended through a trial. If determined not to be dangerous, by diagnoses or trials, accused parties could be released with apologies from the state. Disposition of firearms owned by those found guilty would be decided in the same trial. Normally, they would be awarded to heirs qualified to possess firearms. Of course, if acquitted, any costs to the accused would be refunded.

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