Colorado Representative Facing Recall after Sponsoring Red Flag Law

Gov. Jared Polis giving Tom Sullivan a hug before signing the red flag bill into law. (Photo: Joe Amon/The Denver Post)

A Colorado state representative is facing a recall after sponsoring a controversial gun control bill recently signed into law. Tom Sullivan (D) of the city of Aurora, a suburb of Denver, is the target of the petition.

Sullivan sponsored a red flag bill that would allow law enforcement, medical professionals, family members, roommates, spouses and ex-spouses to file an extreme risk protection order in court against an individual without notifying the individual that authorities will search his home and seize his guns.

Second Amendment and civil rights supporters argued that the law makes an end-run around due process and doesn’t include a two-step process in the seizure order. Gun control proponents argued that because a judge is involved there isn’t a lack of due process, even if the individual subject to the warrant isn’t involved in the hearing.

They argued that it is in the state’s interest to keep the person out of the loop since they could take that as notice and become a danger to themselves or others including the police confiscating the guns.

The Colorado Secretary of State approved the petition to recall Sullivan early this week. The organizers need 10,035 signatures by mid-July in order for the recall to go to the ballot.

Sullivan sponsored the red flag bill in memory of his son, Alex, who was killed in the Aurora theater shooting in 2012. The bill, signed into law by Gov. Jared Polis (D), goes into effect in 2020.

“Alex being murdered in the Aurora theater massacre was the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with,” said Sullivan. “Threats from extremists like Rocky Mountain Gun Owners do not scare me, and they will certainly never stop me from protecting other families from that heartbreak. I won’t be bullied by the gun lobby and I will always keep my promises to my community and my constituents.”

The recall effort is led by Kristine Brown, the vice chair of the Colorado Republican Party. It is supported by the Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, or RMGO, a local gun rights group.

“I think Rep. Sullivan needs to be recalled,” Brown told the Denver Post. “Like the rest of the Democrats, he didn’t represent the families of Colorado. The overreach by Democrats this session was just too far.”

The RMGO is fighting back against the law, legally and legislatively. They are promoting a bill that would amend the law to remove the gun confiscation procedure set out by the red flag bill as well as filing suit against it. The RMGO argues that lawmakers did not adhere to the state’s constitutional requirements before signing the bill into law.

Colorado voters have a history of recalling representatives who choose to support gun control. In response to the mass killings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, CT, and the Aurora theater shooting, state representatives pushed forward an unpopular gun control package statewide.

Two senators including the Senate President John Morse were recalled in 2013 after passing the gun control laws and a third lawmaker stepped down before she could also be recalled.

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About the author: Max Slowik is a writer with over a dozen years of experience and is a lifelong shooter. He has unwavering support for the Second Amendment and the human right to self-defense. Like Thomas Paine, he’s a journalist by profession and a propagandist by inclination.

{ 20 comments… add one }
  • Peter Ondrasek May 18, 2019, 10:26 am

    I cannot understand the concerns of a red flag bill confiscation act. The law violates constitutional laws. The way it should act is the person petitions to have guns taken away and it should go to court. Not confiscate vuns without due process. I am surprised more groups do not oppose this law. If they can enact this what’s next 1st amendment.

  • Jim May 18, 2019, 6:51 am

    Dr Motown, you ask why elect this \’tard in the first place? We are out numbered by the \’tards on the front range and the Californians that didn’t like their state so they came to CO to \’ck up our state.

  • Gourdhead May 17, 2019, 4:35 pm

    I didn’t think there were any normal folks left in Colorado, much less good ones like Ms. Brown. How did this douchebag get elected in the first place?

  • Sue May 17, 2019, 3:56 pm

    I understand the logic, however, after thirty years in the legal system watching how such processes are abused by those with malicious intent this will be abused. Does the law include an easy process for the weapon owner to recover their property? I daresay this will simply end up another way to remove firearms from the general population. While officially the guns will be destroyed,the fact will be that many of these seized weapons will go home in employees briefcases and equipment bags. One more way someone will be subjected to the abuses of the angry spouse, the crazy relative or some other person attempting to achieve vengeance for some perceived wrong. Laws such as this and domestic violence injunctions have become one more tool for violating 2nd amendment rights often without any due process. In Florida if a temporary injunction is granted the weapon owner is expected to surrender it to law enforcement without even having had their day in court and then law enforcement places obstacles to the owner retrieving their property when the injunction is denied or dismissed. No this violates due process on so many levels there are better ways of handling this situation that don’t violate constitutional rights.

  • T May 17, 2019, 2:38 pm

    I’m sorry for his loss.

    Crushing the second amendment is not the answer.

  • jay May 17, 2019, 12:42 pm

    So. Believing in and supporting the Constitution makes you an extremist but holding the law in contempt does not. Coo-ool!!
    (NOT!!!)
    Paving the way for socialist take over; the democratic party.

  • Peter Brown May 17, 2019, 12:32 pm

    sulivan….write when you get work.

  • BigC May 17, 2019, 12:16 pm

    You’d think Coloradans would’ve learned after that Hickenlooper a-hole, obviously not!!

  • Saran Wrappe May 17, 2019, 10:37 am

    My child was killed by a drunk driver. Prohibition is back. My child was mauled by a dog. Ban dogs. The list goes on!! Another ass-hat politician.

    No offense to anyone that has lost a child. Not mocking the loss, just the response.

    • G.O.A. Patriot May 17, 2019, 5:11 pm

      It’s called knee jerk reaction Saran Wrappe!!! Those who violate the Constitution are just plain JERKS who need their knee capped with a baseball bat!!!

  • William EARL Brown Jr. May 17, 2019, 9:21 am

    Like Uncle Sleepy Joe said we the Dems are going to put you in Chains and jail. It’s our way or jail take it or die.TO ARMS TO ARMS the ASSHOLES are coming to your life or a town near you. Trump 2020 build that damn WALL. Lock them all up there coup failed…..

    • Ray November 1, 2019, 8:53 am

      I keep finding people all over who ask the question, When will enough be enough? At what point do we finally take a stand ?

  • James Summers May 17, 2019, 8:54 am

    Being tried in absentia.
    Nice way tyrants and puppet governments get rid of trouble makers with muss and fuss of due process.
    Democrats have become communist party and their rhetoric of disarm you while I have private army to protect party members seems to permeate Washington, D.C. these days.

  • Frank S. May 17, 2019, 7:40 am

    You have to admit that in SOME cases, where a person is definitely not in their right mind and will hurt someone, you don’t want to let them know you’re coming to seize their guns. The problem with most of these “red flag” laws is that you don’t have to prove anything before the law confiscates, just have to accuse. then they make you go through a bunch of red tape and court to get your guns back — you have to PROVE you’re not a danger, and that process is dragged out. Meanwhile, the accuser gets a slap on the wrist if anything. So make it a jail time crime to falsely accuse, and make a legal process of it. Easy enough for the cops to go pick up the accused unannounced and take them to a hearing under custody. No way they can hide guns or hunker down and wait for someone to come by. Not ideal, but better than not being able to defend yourself at all. And return guns IMMEDIATELY (at least within a few days) once no threat has been proven. In some cases, like a medical doctor or psychiatrist/counselor alerting the police, I can see immediate seizure. Again, should be some penalty for a false alarm, though those professions should be more repsonsible in the way they act. But if I tell my counselor I’m going to go out and get someone and they know I have guns, they do have a responsibility to act if they have reason to believe I’m serious. Or if it’s a kid that says such things notify the parents so they can secure guns.

    I stated this in another post — the definition of REASONABLE actions is the issue. The gun control advocates want draconian measures, 2A advocates want little or nothing. There is a middle ground, but the democrats just aren’t willing to work to find it. Our government is grid locked on so many issues because neither side wants to compromise. That’s why we have a two party system and multiple levels of government — so something REASONABLE can be hashed out instead of one extreme or the other taking over!!

    • Tom Williams May 17, 2019, 8:28 am

      There is no longer any ” middle ground” when negotiating with Democrats.

    • Sepp W May 17, 2019, 4:49 pm

      These people don/t care about protecting children or anyone else for that matter. This a scheme to confiscate firearms from anyone that disagrees with their ideology. If they cared, they would have built in “due process.” If they cared they would have passed laws to get people help instead of going after inanimate object. In the liberal dystopia there are no criminals, only crime. And it’s pretty tough to tell sociopaths and psychopaths from a normal person because they are experts at hiding it and if they are hell bent on harming others nothing is going to stop them. In particular they know in planning out their carnage all they have to do is walk in to a “gun free” zone because they know no one is going to stop them, at least right away. Instead, well just take anyone’s firearms that we don’t like or disagrees with us. In fact, what happens when the law raids the home of citizen who doesn’t even own a firearm, based on a false complaint, in the middle of night or early morning executing a search warrant to seize firearms and there are no firearms, but someone in the home is shot and killed because the officer “thought” he or she going for a gun . . . .

      • Paul November 1, 2019, 1:41 pm

        Exactly what happened to Wayne LaPierre a few years back when someone called 911 and said he was Wayne LaPierre and that he had just killed his wife. Swat showed up waking him up and they were surprised to say the least, and his wife the whole time was telling him not to go out because they would kill him. When he finally did open the door there were a dozen swat members all armed and pointing the guns at him! Obviously they figured things out, and he’s still here, but this is what the communist left want! Nazi style confiscation! Stay vigilant!

  • Dr Motown May 15, 2019, 4:30 pm

    Why elect this \’tard in the first place? I\’m sure his views were known about this long ago

  • Nicks87 May 15, 2019, 12:31 pm

    This is where it starts, people better start acting sooner than later to stop this garbage. If the govt is able to get away with these “red flag” laws where will they stop? Democrats want people living in cages, people better do something now or when the leftists win, gun owners will be discussing firearms with each other behind bars instead of on internet chat rooms.

    • Sue May 17, 2019, 4:37 pm

      People have this problem with indifference until it affects them directly. Great example the scam camera red light cameras no one cares until it’s them getting sent that 200.00 ticket in the mail and it wasn’t them or the license plate was so obscured that it wasn’t theirs or they were making a perfectly legal right turn on a red or horrors their tire just happened to roll over that sensor when the light was red. Everyone’s got too much on their minds to think about it until they’re the ones getting screwed.

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