ALAMOSA– Alamosa County will become a “Second Amendment Sanctuary County,” in response to State Senate Bill 19-1177, or the “Red Flag Gun Control Bill,” with the passage of a resolution Wednesday by the Alamosa County Board of County Commissioners.
Board members heard overwhelming support for the resolution during a public hearing at the commissioner’s meeting. The hearing opened with the reading of the resolution by Alamosa County Attorney Jason Kelly. The resolution affirmed the Right to Bear Arms under the Second Amendment.
The resolution also asserted that SB 19-1177 is “woefully off-target,” as it fails to address the underlying mental health issues that are connected to gun control.
Fourteen states have enacted so-called “red flag” bills or extreme risk protection orders (ERPO). Colorado’s version empowers family members or law enforcement to petition a judge to place a temporary order on a person who is a threat to his/herself or others without allowing the subject to mount a personal defense.
Similar to red flag bills in other states, Colorado’s bill has key differences in how law enforcement would carry out seizing a weapon and how due process rights would be handled for someone whose weapons are taken.
Following the reading, Alamosa County Sheriff Robert Jackson gave a statement in support of the resolution and noted that he sees the legislation as a “bad bill,” because it lacks due process, the addressing of mental health issues, and would put deputies at increased risk. Alamosa Chief of Police Ken Anderson affirmed his support for the sheriff’s position.
During the public comment portion of the hearing, there were many comments for and against the measure. Those in support of the resolution pointed out that they see the bill as unconstitutional and an infringement upon personal property rights.
Scott Honeycutt said the measure would take away the “innocent until proven guilty” clause. A common theme among the supporters was that the law would infringe upon both the Second and Fourth Amendments with no recourse.
Others voiced concern about the resolution and asked the commissioners to wait until the bill actually passed before taking action on the matter.
When public comment period closed there was adamant debate between the commissioners.
Commissioner Darius Allen noted that both State Senator Larry Crowder and State Representative Donald Valdez have both voted against the bill. He urged the passing of the resolution “before it’s too late.” Commissioner Helen Sigmond was decidedly against the resolution while Commissioner Michael Yohn expressed his support.
When pressed for his legal opinion on the matter by Commissioner Sigmond, Kelly pointed out that he also has concerns about due process and the fact that the measure would be an unfunded mandate.
“Just because a law is passed doesn’t make it constitutional,” he said.
Commissioner Allen made the motion to approve the resolution and was seconded by Commissioner Yohn. The motion passed 2-1 with Sigmond voting against. The passing of the resolution was met with a round of applause.