March 28, 2019
Denver, CO – The Colorado State Senate today voted 18-to-17 to pass HB19-1177, Extreme Risk Protection Orders, a bill sponsored by Senators Lois Court (D-Denver) and Brittany Pettersen (D-Lakewood) that 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. The bill now heads back to the House of Representatives for consideration of amendments.
“After years of working to pass similar legislation, I am proud that the Senate has finally voted to advance a commonsense gun safety bill that will ultimately save the lives of Coloradans and law enforcement officers,” said Senator Court. “Thoughts and prayers don’t save lives, but extreme risk protection orders will, and I look forward to seeing it signed into law.”
“This bill is supported by an overwhelming majority of Coloradans, and outside of this building, it is not controversial,” said Senator Pettersen. “We passed this bill and did what is right for our law enforcement, domestic violence survivors, our kids who just want to feel safe when they go to school, and the countless family members who have lost someone to unnecessary gun violence.”
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.
In addition to hours of debate in committee and on the Senate floor, this bill also went through an extensive stakeholder process with feedback from law enforcement, mental health and gun violence prevention advocates, and legislators. It passed the Colorado House of Representatives on third reading 38-to-25. If passed and signed into law, Colorado would be the 15th state to enact ERPO legislation.
For more information on HB19-1177, please visit https://leg.colorado.gov/bills/hb19-1177.