Multiple sheriffs speak out against Red Flag Bill

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The Extreme Risk Protection Orders, also known as the Red Flag Bill, is closer to becoming a state law, but this week Fremont County commissioners took a stand by passing a resolution that declares Fremont County a Second Amendment Sanctuary County.

The resolution is spearheaded by County Commissioner Dwayne McFall.

“I reached out to the Fremont County Sheriff and we discussed it, and what this bill does not do is address due process,” McFall said. “This bill is very vague.”

The resolution allows the county to give the sheriff their support to “not enforce any unconstitutional firearms law against any citizen.”

If the Red Flag Bill is passed into law, it would allow law enforcement, family members or household members to ask a judge to temporarily remove firearms from owners believed to have a high risk of harming themselves or others.

“The resolution is largely symbolic, is mostly to state where Fremont County is and what we believe here,” Fremont County Sheriff Allen Cooper said. “Firearms are our way of life here, and I think our entire culture is a little different here than in the metro area.”

Cooper said the resolution has received large support from across the county and the state. Other counties have also followed in Fremont’s footsteps, including Custer County.

“It’s basically affirming we recognize individuals’ Second Amendment rights and the right to bear arms,” Custer County Sheriff Shannon Byerly said. “We don’t believe that the Constitution allows for states to step in and infringe in those rights.”

Both sheriffs said the bill, as is, goes against multiple constitutional amendments. They also said it does not address mental health and more.

“Most of the law enforcement in this state have some training in dealing with mental health issues,” Cooper said.

“I do have a problem with an individual or even family member taking a case forward, because in my time as an investigator, I’ve had in my time people make false claims.”

The bill is currently in the full House.

Montezuma County passed a similar resolution like Fremont and Custer this week as well. Teller County Sheriff Jason Mikesell and El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder have both spoken out against the bill as well.

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