Sheriff Elder gives his take on Red Flag Law

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EL PASO COUNTY, Colo. — The Sheriff of El Paso County is explaining his stance on the Red Flag Law that just went into effect on January 1.

Under the red flag law, law enforcement can get what’s called an “Extreme Risk” Protection Order (ERPO) from a judge to temporarily take someone’s guns, if they are a danger to themselves or others.

This bill has been very controversial particularly in El Paso County.

Under the law right now — if a judge grants a temporary protection order,
There has to be a temporary ERPO hearing immediately which removes firearms and licenses from the person in question. A court hearing must follow within the next 14 days where they will decide whether or not to take that person’s guns.

In that hearing, it’s up to law enforcement or that person’s family or household member whoever petitioned for the temporary order. To prove the person is a risk to themselves or others.

If that happens, that person will not get their weapons back for 364 days and they cannot possess or purchase a firearm during that time.

Monday, Sheriff Elder said he will serve the orders if asked by a judge to do so like any protection order. However, he said his department will not search the person’s place for guns without a warrant.

“I believe the fourth amendment protects people unreasonable and unlawful searches, that’s my job. Unless there is probable cause we are not searching,” said Sheriff Elder.

Since the sheriff released his policy he said he’s received a lot of push back online and he believes. His stance is more conservative than most counties.

Around the state — ERPOs have been approved by judges in Denver county and Larimer county and a judge in Lincoln county denied one.

As far as we know, there hasn’t been an ERPO case so far in El Paso County, but the sheriff’s office did say there would be specific training with their deputies before they serve an order.

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