El Paso County Sheriff’s Office responds to red flag law

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(AP Photo/Philip Kamrass, File)

EL PASO COUNTY, Colo — The red flag law has been controversial across Colorado. The El Paso County Sheriff’s Office explains how they’ll impose the new law.

Under the new law, which went into effect Jan. 1, any Colorado citizen can apply for an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO) against a gun owner if the citizen feels the gun owner may be a threat to themselves or others.

The El Paso County Sheriff’s Department put out a statement which said it is their policy to respect and protect the constitutional rights of all those they serve, ensuring the rights of people to be free from unreasonable search and seizures and to receive due process of law, are safeguarded and maintained.

El Paso County Sheriff’s Office stated once the courts grant ERPO’s, members of the El Paso County Sheriffs Office will evaluate the entirety of the order, conduct a risk analysis to determine what resources and personnel are necessary, and establish operational plans to serve the order as required safely.

Furthermore, they will not petition for an ERPO or Temporary Removal Protection Order (TRPO) unless imperative circumstances exist, and a probable cause can be established as a result of a crime being or has been committed.

If deputies in El Paso County are required to serve an order, they will explain the contents and requirements in full, as well as ask respondents to surrender any firearms along with a permit for concealed handguns if issued.

Because the extreme risk protection order requires that they surrender all firearms, one of the following three ways will be offered to the respondent:

  1. sell the firearms to a licensed firearms dealer,
  2. arrange for storage at the Sheriff’s Office evidence facility or
  3. in the case of an antique, curio, or relic firearm, may transfer the firearm to a relative who does not live with the respondent.

Deputies will be authorized to seize any firearms in “plain view” or following consent or any other lawful search.

If there is no probable cause and signed search warrant, a search for firearms will not be conducted by members of the Sheriff’s Office.

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