The Board of El Paso County Commissioners voted today to adopt a resolution showing support for the Second Amendment of the United States Constitution and opposing House Bill 19-1177 (also known as “the Red Flag bill”).
The resolution is significant for a number of reasons. Commissioners pledged to “actively resist” the legislation, committed to “legal action if warranted”, and “invit[ing] all like-minded counties to join us in this effort.” El Paso County is the first county to make such a pledge. Commissioners also vowed to not appropriate funds or resources to initiate unconstitutional seizures in unincorporated El Paso County and pledged to collaborate with Sheriff Bill Elder in his efforts to oppose and challenge the bill.
The resolution outlined Commissioners’ numerous issues with the bill—including the lack of sufficient due process a citizen gets before taking away a constitutional right, and how the legislation would shift the burden of proof to a gun owner to prove they are not a danger to themselves or others. Both examples are significant deviations from well-established legal standards used in the United States for over 200 years. Commissioners also expressed a desire for the Colorado State Legislature to address the growing mental health crisis in communities across the State.
Sheriff Bill Elder also supported the resolution.
It is worth noting the resolution applies to unincorporated El Paso County. The Board of El Paso County Commissioners does not have the authority to set policy for any municipality within the county. Local municipalities include the City of Colorado Springs, the City of Fountain, the City of Manitou Springs, and the towns of Monument, Palmer Lake, Green Mountain Falls, Calhan, and Ramah. Roughly 187,000 county residents—or about one out of every four people—live in unincorporated El Paso County.