The sheriff’s office in the county where the fatal LGBT+ club shooting took place never used the “red flag” law.

A 2019 bill allowing Colorado judges to bar people who pose a “significant risk” to themselves or others passed the state legislature without a single Republican vote in support.

The so-called “red flag” law was signed into law by Governor Jared Polis, marking one of the most significant gun reform measures passed by state lawmakers in the years following a 2012 mass shooting inside a Colorado movie theater that killed 12 people and injured 70 others.

But at the county sheriff’s office where a deadly shooting at an LGBT+ club this week left five people dead, officers haven’t used the law once.

Filming inside the Aurora theater during the screening of The Dark Knight is resurrected it remains the deadliest mass shooting in the state since the 1999 Columbine High School massacre, when two students killed 12 students and a teacher.

But the 2019 law has met with overwhelming opposition not only from GOP lawmakers but also from sheriff’s offices across the state, including in El Paso County, where five people were fatally shot and 18 others were left behind. injuries inside a Colorado Springs LGBT+ club on Nov. 19.

A year earlier, the suspect accused of immediately opening fire at the venue that night had been arrested on charges of felony threat and kidnapping, which were later dropped.

Not only did the El Paso County Sheriff’s Office fail to pursue a firearm seizure order from suspect, Anderson Lee Aldrich, but the county never initiated a seizure.

Since the law took effect in 2020, the office has never pursued or initiated a judge’s order to temporarily confiscate a firearm from a person deemed to pose a significant risk to themselves or others.

This was said by Sergeant Jason Garrett, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office The Colorado sun Wednesday that the agency has never sought an Extreme Risks Protection Order — or ERPO — as outlined in the 2019 law.

Under the law, a judge can issue an ERPO if an applicant, including law enforcement, can demonstrate that a person “poses a significant risk of causing personal injury to themselves or others by having in their custody or controlling a firearm or by purchasing, owning or receiving a firearm.

Data reviewed by The Colorado sun noted that the state has received nearly 300 ERPO temporary seizure requests and nearly 100 statewide extended order requests since the law went into effect.

Most of the requests came from law enforcement agencies.

Following the passage of the law, the El Paso County Board of Commissioners voted to adopt a resolution formally opposing the red flag measure.

The commissioners pledged to “actively resist” the legislation, pledging “legal action if warranted,” and called on “all like-minded counties” to join the county’s opposition, according to the resolution.

The commissioners also spoke out against the appropriation of “any funds or assets to initiate unconstitutional seizures” and pledged to cooperate with El Paso County Sheriff Bill Elder, who personally opposed the law.

Sheriff Elder has issued more than 45,500 concealed carry permits to citizens and retired peace officers, according to the county, which noted that the sheriff has issued more permits “than any other sheriff in the state.”

More than half of Colorado’s counties have drafted similar “Second Amendment Preservation” resolutions.

In 2019, Sheriff Elder said he opposes the law because “we will take personal property away from people without due process.”

“The sheriff’s office has no plans to invest and try to get a court order,” he told local NBC affiliate KOAA News.

It is unclear whether Aldrich’s 2021 case would have been eligible for an extreme hazards protection order, which would likely have expired at the time of the Club Q shooting.

Anderson Lee Aldrich, a suspect in a Club Q mass shooting, appeared in court via video link on Nov. 23. (AP)

In June 2021, her office arrested Aldrich on felony threat and kidnapping charges after a woman reported that a person she said was her son “was threatening to harm her with a homemade bomb, more weapons and ammunition”.

According to The Colorado Springs Gazette, the El Paso County District Attorney’s Office decided not to pursue formal charges. The case was later sealed.

“There is absolutely nothing there, the case has been dropped and I’m asking you to remove or update the story,” Aldrich said in a voicemail left to an editor of The Gazette in August, according to The Associated Press. “The entire case has been dropped.”

The witnesses’ lack of cooperation prevented a prosecution, according to law enforcement officials who spoke to them The New York Times. Officials have repeatedly refused to discuss that case publicly.

“These laws have been put in the books to address precisely the dangerous behaviors that are often precursors to larger violent events,” according to Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Solutions professor Shannon Frattaroli, speaking to Reuters.

“The threat of blowing up your mother or the neighborhood would agree with most reasonable people is a signal that intervention is needed,” she said.

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