Turning up the heat on the race for Colorado attorney general, gun rights group Rocky Mountain Gun Owners slammed Arapahoe County District Attorney George Brauchler Tuesday on Twitter for his support of a “red flag” bill during the last legislative session.
— Rocky Mtn Gun Owners (@RMGunOwners) September 4, 2018
The bill would have allowed authorities to temporarily seize the firearms of people deemed imminently dangerous to themselves or others. The measure passed in the State House but was blocked by state Senate Republicans.
Brauchler is the GOP nominee for Attorney General and will face off against Democrat Phil Weiser, a former Department of Justice official and Dean of the University of Colorado Law School.
In a blog, Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Executive Director Dudley Brown condemned Brauchler for his past support of the Colorado measure. Several states have passed or considered such measures after mentally ill, disturbed gun owners kill others. On New Year’s Eve 2017, Highlands Ranch Deputy Sheriff Zackari Parrish was shot dead by a gunman later known to be mentally ill, a threat and a gun owner.
Critics say such red-flag measures would result in police confiscating guns from owners they don’t like or who are targeting by enemies.
“Apparently he still hasn’t gotten the message that pushing gun control is unacceptable,” Brown wrote.
RMGO did not respond to a request for comment.
In a statement, Brauchler reaffirmed his commitment to a future red flag bill.
“When I made the decision to support the red flag law, in the shadow of the murder of Dep. Zack Parrish by a dangerously mentally ill killer with unfettered access to numerous weapons, I knew that it wouldn’t please everyone,” Brauchler said.
“Every citizen should be given due process under the law, but guns should not be in the hands of those who are dangerously mentally ill and would cause harm to themselves or others in our community,” Brauchler said.
The bill also had the backing of Arapahoe County GOP state Rep. and Assistant Minority Leader Cole Wist and GOP Congressman Mike Coffman, along with state house Democrats.
In the bill, a family member, roommate or police officer could petition for the removal of firearms from a person found to be an “extreme risk.” The person would then have to be approved by a judge to have the guns returned, but they would have the right to appeal.
Brown called red flag laws “gun confiscation laws” that are “designed to STRIP law-abiding citizens of Second, Fourth and Fifth Amendment rights.”
“They’re really upset that two Republicans like (red flag laws),” said Tom Mauser, a spokesman for Colorado Ceasefire and the father of Dean Mauser, a victim of the 1999 Columbine High School massacre. He said RMGO is on the “extreme side of the gun issue.”
“You have to meet a very high standard to get their support,” he said.
In his blog, Brown called on supporters to voice disapproval to Brauchler and Wist, but it is unlikely that the group will support Weiser for Attorney General, who supports stricter gun control measures like banning bump stocks and raising the purchasing age to 21.
— Grant Stringer, Staff Writer