Colorado Reacts to Scourge of Shootings with New Law
Section 13-14.5-103. C.R.S., et seq., Colorado’s Extreme Risk Protections Orders (“ERPO”) statutes, sometimes referred to as a “red flag law,” provides a legal process by which a family or household member or a law enforcement officer or agency can ask a court to temporarily remove guns from a person if they’re determined to be a danger to themselves or others.
If a court approves an order to seize weapons from someone deemed a risk, the person is allowed a hearing up to 364 days later to determine if his or her weapons should be returned or if the order should be extended.
The statutes are intended to provide an expedited process for obtaining a protective order in situations in which a person poses a significant risk to self or others by possessing a firearm. Notwithstanding these statutes, temporary and permanent protection orders may still be obtained under circumstances involving violence or threats of violence, even if no firearms are involved.
To obtain and ERPO, the petitioner must submit an affidavit signed under oath and penalty of perjury that sets forth facts to support the issuance of a temporary ERPO and a reasonable basis for believing they exist. The court must hold a temporary ERPO hearing in person or by telephone on the day the petition is filed or on the court day immediately following the day the petition is filed.
After issuance of a temporary ERPO, the court must schedule a second hearing no later than 14 days following the issuance to determine whether the issuance of a continuing ERPO is warranted. The court shall appoint counsel to represent the respondent at the hearing. If a family or household member or a law enforcement officer establishes by clear and convincing evidence that a person poses a significant risk to self or others by having a firearm in his or her custody or control or by possessing, purchasing, or receiving a firearm, the court may issue a continuing ERPO. The ERPO prohibits the respondent from possessing, controlling, purchasing, or receiving a firearm for 364 days.
Upon issuance of the ERPO, the respondent shall surrender all of his or her firearms and his or her concealed carry permit if the respondent has one. The respondent may surrender his or her firearms either to a law enforcement agency or a federally licensed firearms dealer, or, if the firearm is an antique or relic or curio, the firearm may be surrendered to a family member who is eligible to possess a firearm and who does not reside with the respondent. If a person other than the respondent is determined to be the lawful owner of any firearms surrendered to law enforcement, the firearm must be returned to him or her.
The respondent can motion the court once during the 364-day ERPO for a hearing to terminate the ERPO.
Extreme Risk Protection Orders provide additional protections for family or household members of the persons who may be at risk of causing personal injury to self or others by having a firearm or by purchasing, possessing, or receiving a firearm. Our entire team at The Harris Law Firm is dedicated to protecting the interests of our clients. We welcome the opportunity to discuss ways in which new laws such as this can affect them.
To get in touch with a member of our team, dial (303) 622-5502 or contact us online via our message form.