COMMERCE CITY, Colo. (CBS4) – Two months after Gov. Jared Polis signed the state’s “red flag” gun bill into law, another Colorado community has declared itself a Second Amendment sanctuary city. Five members on the Commerce City Council voted for the resolution Tuesday night, two voted against and two abstained from the vote.
More than half of Colorado’s counties have adopted similar language which refuses to enforce the law that takes effect in January 2020, but most of those counties are in rural parts of the state that are Republican strongholds. Commerce City is the first city in the Denver metro area to adopt Second Amendment sanctuary status.
Commerce City is a blue collar community that is purple politically. Democrats hold state House and Senate seats while city council leans Republican. And CBS4 Political Specialist Shaun Boyd reports that’s created a rub.
“I fought for my country and I think people have the right to protect themselves and the citizens,” said Mayor Pro Tem Rick Teter. “You know, the way this world’s going, you’d better know what you’re doing, you’d better know how to protect yourself, because you never know when it’s going to change.”
He admits the resolution is a statement not a statute. Still, it’s exploded in debate on social media.
Teter says the city will enforce the law which allows judges to confiscate the guns of people deemed a dangerous to themselves or others. He wants to send a message to lawmakers.
“Let’s back up, let’s address mental health and the funding first and try to get these people the help they need. You can take mental health person and you do a statement where you’re going to rush his house or whatever, you may force that person to take the wrong action.”
State Sen. Dominick Moreno, a Democrat who represents Commerce City, says the legislature did address mental health — putting tens of millions of dollars more toward treatment and suicide prevention — but he says gun control is also part of the solution.
“What we have heard overwhelmingly in all of these shooting situations, whether they be at schools or out in the public, is that people are like ‘Get weapons out of the hands of dangerous people.’ That’s what extreme risk protect orders are,” Moreno said. “I don’t think we overstepped at all. I think we are trying to keep our communities safe.”
Fourteen other states have red flag laws. Opponents in Connecticut and Indiana sued, saying the laws were unconstitutional, and lost.