How to fight a law
Even though I am strongly in favor of the Red Flag bill, you may choose to oppose it. But should opposition be in the form of an ill-conceived resolution which puts our county commissioners or the sheriff in the position of interpreting the U.S. or Colorado Constitutions?
We are a nation of laws predicated on three coequal branches of government.
It is up to legislative bodies to craft laws.
It is up to the judicial branch to interpret those laws, including determining their constitutionality.
It is up to the executive branch, of which law enforcement is a vital part, to enforce those laws.
This proposed resolution short-circuits this foundational — and constitutional — principal.
If you choose to oppose the Red Flag law, do so within the framework of our constitutional institutions. Lobby state legislators. Make phone calls or write letters expressing your views and concerns. If the law passes, fight it in court, up to the Supreme Court if necessary, which is empaneled specifically to render judgment on constitutional questions.
But do not order our chief law enforcement officer to ignore the law.
Suppose the Red Flag law passes, the sheriff refuses to enforce a lawful order of the court, and someone dies. This resolution, if passed, would be Plaintiff’s Exhibit #1 in a lawsuit against the county and its sheriff’s department, which it would frankly deserve to lose.
The Attorney General’s Office has concluded that HB 19-1177 is constitutional. If “Concerning Creation of an Extreme Risk Protection Order”1 (“HB 19-1177”) is passed into law, won’t we as citizens of Huerfano County, expect all law enforcement officers to uphold their oath to enforce the laws fairly?
Is it in the best interest of our county for the Huerfano county BOCC to entertain a resolution that may be in conflict with the law of the land?
Respectfully submitted ~ Dale Lyons Gardner, CO