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Bill would let authorities take guns if a person is considered a threat



The democratically-controlled Colorado legislature sent a "red flag" bill on Monday to the governor, calling for firearms from people that could pose a threat to themselves or others.

GOV. Jared Polis, also a Democrat, has promised to sign the measure that would place the state among 13 others who have passed such legislation. Florida passed its law after the 2018 Parkland School Massacre.

The Colorado bill would allow family, household members, or law enforcement to bring a court to have weapons seized or surrendered. A subsequent hearing could extend a gun fitting up to 364 days.

The bill puts the burden of proof on the gun owner to get the firearm back by showing that he or she no longer poses a risk.

The Republicans repeatedly tried to shift the burden of proof to those who applied for the protection order. They claimed that the legislation does not give any fair action to pistol owners.

Republicans also say that it violates constitutional rights and can lead to violent confrontations if a judge instructs the police to confiscate firearms from a resident owner.

Party members defeated similar legislation last year when they controlled the state senate.

Democrats swept both legislative chambers and retained the governor in November elections.

The state Parliament voted 38-25 Monday to approve Senate changes to the bill.

"This bill will give law enforcement authorities and families the tools they need to stop tragedies from constantly happening and saving lives," said the first-term Rep. Tom Sullivan, who sponsored the bill with House Majority Leader Alec Garnett.

Sullivan's son, Alex, was killed on his 27th birthday in the 201

2 shooting shooting at an Aurora theater.

Several law enforcement officials testified to the bill, named after Zackari Parrish, a 29-year-old Sheriff's deputy in Douglas County. The man and father were shot and killed in a New Year's Eve 2017 shooting by a man who had shown a more erratic behavior.

Opponents say that half the state's counties have passed the bill against the bill, symbolically declaring their counties "Other change shrines."

Some of the most rural counties said they would return sheriffs who did not enforce the measure And don't want to spend money to store confiscated weapons.

State Secretary Phil Weiser, a Democrat, has told Sheriffs who do not want to enforce the measure should resign. Police said on March 26, however, that he believes sheriffs are obliged to enforce laws approved in the Capitol. Police also said that the sheriff has the discretion to decide which issues to focus on.

It is the first major arms law that goes through both Colorado legislatures since 2013, when lawmakers passed universal background checks and banned large-capacity ammunition magazines after mass shootings in Aurora and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

The voices then reminded two democratic legislators to support the measures. One-third resigned rather than recall.

Associated Press author Colleen Slevin contributed to this report.


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