Mesa County Sheriff against 'red flag' bill, but will enforce it

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GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. (KKCO/KJCT) -- The Colorado Senate pushed the controversial 'red flag' bill through by one vote Thursday afternoon. This was the last big hurdle for the bill as it marches towards the governor's desk.

The bill, HB19-1177, would allow law enforcement to take guns from people if a judge decides they're at risk. Legislators for the bill say it will keep guns out of the hands of people mentally unfit to have them.

It has garnered statewide attention because of how widely contested it has been, especially among county sheriffs, many of them angry enough to declare their counties Second Amendment sanctuary counties. Others go so far as to say they won't enforce the law should it pass.

Though Mesa County Sheriff Matt Lewis is against the bill, Mesa County won't join those ranks.

"We are not, have not, will not be a sanctuary county," Sheriff Lewis said. "We go after people who think that the law does not apply to them."

He is adamantly against the bill itself, saying it targets guns instead of the real issue, getting folks mental health resources, but thinks the better way to address it is to challenge it in court.

"I do think that this is one of those that should it pass it will likely be challenged and I think the appropriate way that it should be challenged is through the courts, not to simply say we are going to disregard laws that we don't agree with," he said.

The Delta County Sheriff, Mark Taylor, stated in a public meeting earlier this month that if the bill passes, you might find him in his own county jail. County Commissioners there have declared themselves a Second Amendment sanctuary county.

Montrose County Commissioners passed a resolution last week against the 'red flag' bill but just like Mesa County, they are not calling themselves a Second Amendment sanctuary county.

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