Governor Polis Signs Lifesaving Extreme Risk Protection Order Bill
Denver, CO – Governor Jared Polis today signed HB19-1177, Extreme Risk Protection Orders, into law. The bill, sponsored by Senators Lois Court (D-Denver) and Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood), will save lives by allowing family members and law enforcement to request a court order to temporarily remove firearms from someone who is deemed a danger to themselves or to others.
“I am sick and tired of inaction when we see tragedies caused by gun violence,” said Senator Court. “I am absolutely sure this bill will save lives and I am proud that after years of working on similar legislation this was finally signed into law.”
“This bill is about protecting domestic violence survivors and those at risk of suicide, giving law enforcement the tools they need to keep themselves and our community safe, and protecting our kids who just want to go to school to learn,” said Senator Pettersen. “This bill will save lives, and I am ashamed at the lies, misinformation, and fear mongering used by the extreme gun lobby to distort what it does. Extreme risk protection orders are overwhelmingly popular in Colorado, and I am proud that we did what was right and signed this bill into law.”
HB19-1177 is named in honor of Douglas County Deputy Sheriff Zackari Parrish III who was killed on duty in 2017 by an individual whose mental health concerns were well-known to others around him. This legislation would give law enforcement and family members the opportunity to seek a temporary order for someone who appears at risk of dangerous behavior.
To successfully block firearm access, a petitioner would have to demonstrate a preponderance of evidence that the individual poses a significant threat to themselves or others by possessing a firearm. After a petition is filed, a court would place a temporary order for up to two weeks until a hearing determines whether a full protection order is appropriate. A full protection order could then be approved for up to 364 days.
The bill was debated on the Senate floor for hours and went through an extensive stakeholder process with feedback from law enforcement, mental health and gun violence prevention advocates, and legislators. The bill passed the Colorado State Senate by a vote of 18-to-17 on March 28, 2019.
For more information on HB19-1177, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1177.