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h_jud_2018a_2018-05-01t14:05:52z0 Hearing Summary




PUBLIC
BILL SUMMARY For HB18-1436

HOUSE COMMITTEE ON JUDICIARY
Date May 1, 2018      
Location RM 271



HB18-1436 - Amended, referred to the Committee of the Whole

02:06:43 PM  

Representatives Garnett and Wist, prime sponsors, presented House Bill 18-1436, concerning the creation of an extreme risk protection order (ERPO). Representative Garnett explained the effect of the bill and discussed its need. Representative Wist provided additional input on the bill. Committee members received a handout in support of the bill (Attachment A) and a preview of testimony (Attachment B) from Colorado Ceasefire. The sponsors screened a video.

02:31:50 PM  

Sheriff Joe Pelle, representing Boulder County and the County Sheriffs of Colorado, testified in support of the bill. Sheriff Pelle discussed the lack of tools available to law enforcement in mental health crisis situations, and recounted a situation where a person who was put on a mental health hold was able to reclaim his firearm after the hold expired. He discussed the public safety benefits of the bill. Sheriff Tony Spurlock, representing Douglas County, testified in support of the bill. Sheriff Spurlock discussed a case where a person with mental health issues acquired a firearm and committed violent crimes, along with another case that led to the injury of a deputy sheriff. Sheriff Spurlock responded to questions regarding the case involving the death of Deputy Zackari Parrish. Discussion ensued regarding the efficacy of 72-hour mental health holds, as authorized by current law. Discussion followed regarding a hypothetical situation where an ERPO is conducted on a person who lives with others who own weapons, and the seizure of potential weapons that are not firearms. Sheriff Pelle responded to questions regarding whether the word "imminent" in current law presents a limit for law enforcement.

02:54:51 PM  
Discussion ensued regarding the potential for a violent situation to be created when firearms are collected under HB 18-1436. Discussion returned to the ability of police to confiscate other items that can cause mass harm. Discussion followed regarding the potential for changing the definition of "imminent threat" as it pertains to a 72-hour mental health hold to accomplish some of the objectives of the bill. Representative Garnett discussed laws similar to HB 18-1436 in other states.
03:15:43 PM  
Sheriff Spurlock explained how the shooter of Deputy Zackari Parrish would have been handled under HB 18-1436. Discussion returned to the ability of those undergoing a mental health crisis to access dangerous items other than firearms.
03:21:11 PM  

Ms. Jane Dougherty, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Dougherty discussed the loss of her sister to gun violence, and the need to address gun violence. Ms. Kelly Murphy, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Murphy recounted an incident where her brother committed gun violence while suffering from mental health issues, and explained how the incident could have been avoided. Mr. Tom Mauser, representing himself, explained how a "red flag" law such as HB 18-1436 could help to prevent violence perpetrated using guns, including suicide.

03:33:49 PM  

Chief Dwight Henninger, representing Vail, the Colorado Association of Chiefs of Police, and the Colorado Municipal League, testified in support of the bill. Chief Henninger discussed some situations where the bill would have been helpful in preventing gun violence, and discussed a law similar to HB 18-1436 in place in Connecticut. Chief Gary Creager, representing Broomfield, testified in support of the bill. Chief Creager explained that when gun violence is perpetrated by those with mental health issues, others often know beforehand of plans to perpetrate the violence. He explained how the bill would assist to prevent such incidents. Mr. John Camper, representing the Colorado Bureau of Investigation within the Department of Public Safety, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Camper explained how his organization has tried to balance the rights of individuals with public safety, and discussed the role of the bureau in implementing the bill. Chief Henninger responded to questions regarding the ability of law enforcement to address mental health issues in rural areas.

03:46:17 PM  

Mr. Ronald Dietz, representing himself, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Dietz explained how "red flag" laws do not work, and can be abused. He also discussed the effect of these laws on due process. Mr. James Bardwell, representing Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Bardwell explained that firearms are tools, and violent individuals can find other tools to perpetrate violence. Mr. Robert Edmiston, representing the Firearms Coalition of Colorado, testified against the bill. He explained how the bill abrogates certain rights and spoke in support of addressing mental health issues.

03:54:17 PM  

Mr. Reggie Bicha, director of the Department of Human Services, testified in support of the bill. Director Bicha discussed the department's efforts to address mental health crises, and noted the merits of the legislation. Director Bicha addressed earlier questions regarding the state's involuntary commitment and 72-hour hold laws and policies. He discussed the lethality and availability of firearms. Mr. Jerrod Hindman, representing the Department of Public Health and Environment, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Hindman discussed the lethality of firearms in suicide attempts, and the benefits of the bill.  Mr. Hindman responded to questions regarding the use of certain drugs for suicide.

04:07:40 PM  

Mr. William Eigles, representing himself, testified in opposition to HB 18-1436. Mr. Eigles explained that the bill violates government's duty to protect civil rights, and constitutes prior restraint. Mr. Jacob Viano, representing the Denver Republican Party, testified in opposition to the bill. Mr. Viano recounted how attempts at restraining orders resulted in him forfeiting his firearms, and explained how the bill can be abused.

04:12:35 PM  

Ms. Moe Keller, representing Mental Health Colorado, testified in support of the bill. Committee members received a fact sheet in support of the bill (Attachment C). Ms. Keller explained how the bill is a suicide prevention tool, and addressed the issue of "imminent threat" for 72-hour holds. Mr. Glenn Most, representing West Pines Behavioral Health, testified in support of HB 18-1436. Mr. Most discussed the process of 72-hour holds.

04:20:27 PM  

Ms. Rita Sneider-Cotter, representing the Colorado Coalition Against Domestic Violence, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Sneider-Cotter discussed the link between firearms and domestic violence, and addressed objections to the bill raised during earlier testimony. Ms. Julie Meyers, representing Colorado Faith Communities United to End Gun Violence, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Meyers discussed the adoption of red flag laws in other states, and explained how they are beneficial in preventing gun violence. Mr. Michael McGuire representing himself, testified in support of HB 18-1436. Mr. McGuire explained that others often know when a person experiencing a mental health crisis are going to commit violence. Ms. Kristen Hirsch, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Hirsch discussed the loss of her cousin to suicide using a gun when in distress, and explained how a red flag law may have prevented this event.

04:32:53 PM  

Ms. Stacie Penar, representing Moms Demand Action, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Penar discussed the loss of her friends to gun violence, and the adoption of red flag laws in other states.  Mr. Randy Chase, representing himself, testified in support of the bill.  Mr. Chase discussed the politics associated with firearms.

04:37:05 PM  

Ms. Nancy von Burske, representing Colorado Faith Communities United to End Gun Violence, testified in support of the bill. She told a personal story about losing her son to drinking. mental health disorders, and substance abuse, and explained how passing the bill would save lives

04:40:29 PM  

Ms. Madison Rose, a student representing Never Again Colorado and Students Demand Action, spoke in support of the bill.  She discussed the future of her nephew, explaining that she doesn't want him to grow up with lock downs and fear.

04:42:35 PM  

Mr. Evan Davis, representing Never Again Colorado, spoke in support of the bill.  He explained that his organization put on the March for our Lives, and that red flag laws are vital.

04:44:43 PM  
Ms. Eileen McCarron, representing Colorado Ceasefire, supports the bill. Ms. McCarron discussed an incident where a known threat managed to perpetrate gun violence, and addressed objections raised to the bill in earlier testimony. Ms. McCarron responded to questions regarding the legal threshold for the removal of firearms under the bill, and the provision of counsel for those whose firearms are confiscated under the bill.
04:51:30 PM  

Mr. Christopher Savin, representing himself, testified in support of the bill. Mr. Savin recounted an episode where a relative undergoing mental health issues engaged in murder and suicide, and explained how a red flag bill might have prevented the event. Ms. Mary Blegen, representing Colorado Ceasefire, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Blegen addressed the issues of due process, constitutionality, and effectiveness as they pertain to HB 18-1436. Ms. Katharine Thomas, representing herself, testified in support of the bill. Ms. Thomas explained that friends and relatives are often aware when someone experiencing a mental health crisis is about to commit violence, and discussed her grandson's mental health episodes. She discussed the potential benefits of the bill.

05:04:09 PM  

Ms. Alana Smart, representing Colorado Faith Communities United to End Gun Violence, testified in support of the bill. Committee members received a brochure produced by her organization (Attachment D), and a fact sheet on the bill (Attachment E). Ms. Smart cited statistics, and explained how the bill will improve public safety.

05:07:30 PM  

Mr. Dan May, representing the Fourth Judicial District, testified in support of the bill with amendments. Mr. May discussed a case of gun violence that could have been prevented had a red flag law been in place, noted some potential problems with the bill, and suggested some improvements. Mr. George Brauchler, representing the Eighteenth Judicial District, testified in support of HB 18-1436. Mr. Brauchler spoke in support of individual rights, and explained how the bill would prevent gun violence in certain situations. He noted some of the features of the bill, and compared it to red flag laws in other states. Representative Garnett addressed some of the concerns raised by the district attorneys. Mr. May responded to questions regarding the position of certain law enforcement officials on the bill, and one of his proposals for amendments. Discussion returned to the provision of counsel to those impacted by the bill.

05:30:51 PM  

Mr. Brauchler and Mr. May responded to questions regarding the legal threshold for seizing firearms under HB 18-1436, plain view doctrine, and damage to property when law enforcement seizes firearms. Discussion ensued regarding the timeline for firearms seizure under HB 18-1436. Discussion followed regarding the potential for including a sunset provision in the bill.

05:49:38 PM  

Discussion ensued regarding the seizure of firearms that are not owned by the person experiencing a mental health crisis under HB 18-1436.  Representative Garnett explained amendment L.002 (Attachment F).



05:56:57 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.002
Moved Salazar
Seconded Herod
Benavidez
Carver
Herod
Lundeen
Melton
Neville P.
Roberts
Weissman
Willett
Salazar
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
05:56:58 PM  

Representative Garnett explained the effect of amendment L.003 (Attachment G).



05:57:45 PM
Motion Adopt amendment L.003
Moved Salazar
Seconded Herod
Benavidez
Carver
Herod
Lundeen
Melton
Neville P.
Roberts
Weissman
Willett
Salazar
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection
05:57:58 PM  
Various committee members provided their positions on HB 18-1436. Representatives Garnett and Wist provided closing remarks in support of the bill.


06:10:54 PM
Motion Refer House Bill 18-1436, as amended, to the Committee on Appropriations.
Moved Salazar
Seconded Herod
Benavidez
Carver
Herod
Lundeen
Melton
Neville P.
Roberts
Weissman
Willett
Salazar
Lee
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Withdrawn


06:21:07 PM
Motion Refer House Bill 18-1436, as amended, to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Salazar
Seconded Herod
Benavidez Yes
Carver No
Herod Yes
Lundeen No
Melton Yes
Neville P. No
Roberts Yes
Weissman Yes
Willett No
Salazar Yes
Lee Yes
Final YES: 7   NO: 4   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS