Gov. Jared Polis signs red flag law

Gov. Jared Polis looks up at state Rep. Tom Sullivan, whose son was murdered in the 2012 Aurora theater shooting, after signing House Bill 1177 .

DENVER • A Colorado gun-rights group said Thursday that it will sue the state over Colorado’s “red flag” gun legislation.

Dudley Brown, executive director of Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, said that his organization is seeking to overturn the measure, which allows courts to order firearms taken away from people who pose a danger.

But the lawsuit isn’t over the merits of the law, which Gov. Jared Polis signed on April 12.

Instead, it’s about the same issue that Senate Republicans sued over in March — the legislative process.

Democrats used illegal and unconstitutional tactics to pass House Bill 1177, Brown said Thursday.

Brown said during House debate on March 1, three Republican lawmakers asked that the bill be read at length, which was denied.

The lawsuit names Gov. Jared Polis as the defendant on behalf of the state.

House Bill 1177 sets up a process whereby a family member or law enforcement officer can seek a court order to remove firearms from someone deemed a significant risk to themselves or to others.

The lawsuit, which is to be filed in Denver District Court later Thursday, takes a page from the playbook of Senate Republicans, who filed a lawsuit March 12 against Senate Democrats over a reading of a 2,023-page bill using five computer programs to read the bill simultaneously.

Denver District Court Judge David Goldberg ruled on March 19 in favor of Senate Republicans, stating in his opinion that “using multiple computers to read simultaneously different portions of a bill, any bill, at 650 words per minute is not within legitimate limits. The court was unable to discern a single word from the tape played during the court proceeding. To ‘read’ the bill, which is a constitutional requisite, in such a manner renders it a nullity.”

Goldberg granted the injunction sought by Senate Republicans. The case is expected to go to trial this summer.

Brown said if the lawsuit is not successful, other legal challenges are possible.

House Majority Leader Alec Garnett of Denver dismissed the lawsuit as “frivilous.”

“This isn’t about what happened on the floor,” Garnett said. “The gun lobby has been trying to unwind a popular bill.”

Load comments