WELD COUNTY, CO. — We’ve got a lot of respect for the sheriffs across the country who have stood up against the anti-gun tyranny of the radical new Left. The left seems to think that only good people will use Red Flag laws–and only against bad people. But several sheriffs across the country have pointed out the ease with which these laws can be abused.
A case out of Colorado this week tells just that story. Weld County Sheriff Steve Reams has been a vocal opponent of Red Flags and their various abuses. In a twist of irony, Sheriff Reams had a Red Flag or Emergency Risk Protection Order (ERPO) filed against him last week by an inmate currently in prison.
Gotta Admit–That’s Creative
Colorado’s Red Flag law only passed last year, and went into effect January 1, 2020. According to Colorado’s law, the person who files an ERPO against somebody has to be law enforcement, be related to the person, or have recently lived with them. The inmate in this case checked the box saying that he had lived with Sheriff Reams within the last six months.
Of course, the judge in Sheriff Reams case threw the ERPO out as soon as it came across his desk. The judge said that the inmate has failed to prove that Reams was a threat to himself or others–in addition to falsifying the paperwork to say they’d lived together.
But the point had already been made: Red Flag laws can be politicized in a heartbeat!
Sheriff Reams commented on the waste caused by this new law. “It was a huge waste of my time, but I think it was an even bigger waste of the court’s time. I can’t imagine that the chief judge had to stop what he was doing because these cases become priority, and stop what he was doing and focus in on something that was pretty much on face value, it was obvious that this wasn’t a valid red flag petition.”
An excellent point. This law was abused and time was wasted and it was tossed out…but what happens if an angry relative does this to somebody who isn’t a member of law enforcement? How quickly would a judge toss out an ERPO on a regular citizen?
A Broken System Can Ruin Lives
Sheriff Reams went on, “People who support the red flag law will say well actually you weren’t actually red-flagged, the system worked, the judge didn’t go to a hearing. My problem is that this inmate was able to at least petition the court and provide that he believes that he has standing.”
This isn’t the first time that Colorado’s Red Flag system has been in the news for being used for political reasons. In January, a Fort Collins mother filed an ERPO against a police officer who had shot and killed her son several years earlier in a ‘suicide by cop’ scenario gone wrong. That ERPO was also thrown out and the woman arrested–and later released–for falsifying a police report. She, too, falsified her Red Flag, saying that she and the officer were related because they shared a child.
What If You’re Not a Cop?
But look at these two cases of Red Flag abuse in Colorado in just a couple short months of the law going into effect. The system isn’t set up to protect the rights and due process of the innocent. Lucky for them, these two examples involved law enforcement, so the judge was already biased in their favor.
But if your Aunt Sharon thinks you’re dangerous and decides to Red Flag you, you won’t have the assumption of your innocence like these law enforcement officers did. Additionally, your Aunt is related to you, so her ERPO paperwork won’t be tossed out for being falsified.
Sheriff Reams is a Second Amendment hero in our book. He deserves praise not only for his stance previously, but also for drawing the media’s attention to this abuse via Red Flags!