Law details enforcement procedures

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The red flag law itself and a model policy created by the state’s unit for managing law enforcement agencies’ policies lay out the procedure for Extreme Risk Protection Orders. All law enforcement agencies were also required to adopt their own policies for the law by Jan. 1, according to the law — House Bill 19-1177.

The bill outlines two ways for an ERPO to be submitted to a judge: either by a peace officer or by a family or household member of the person thought to be a danger.

If the judge approves the order, law enforcement in the person’s jurisdiction has five days to serve the order, which calls for the person to surrender any firearms or concealed carry permits they have. The officer serving the order is also required to seize any firearms in plain sight or obtained through a search warrant.

The individual whose guns are confiscated is given the choice between giving their firearms to law enforcement for storage or allowing a federally licensed firearms dealer to store or sell the guns.

Within 14 days, the court must set a hearing to determine if that temporary order, which also prevents the individual from purchasing guns, should be extended for 364 additional days. The person in question will appear in that meeting and will either be appointed legal counsel or hire their own representation.

If a full 364-day order is issued, the person served will have one chance to try to appeal the decision and have it terminated. Once the order expires, the person who requested it can file to renew the ERPO for up to a year.

If it’s not renewed, law enforcement or the firearms dealer storing the guns must return the firearms within three days.

The law also requires that the officer serving the order include referrals to appropriate resources, including those regarding domestic violence, behavioral health and counseling. If the court grants the ERPO and determines that the person in question meets the standard of a mental health disorder, the judge is required to order treatment and evaluation as well.

- Elliott Wenzler

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