COLORADO - The act creates the ability for a family or household member or a law enforcement officer to petition the court for a temporary extreme risk protection order (ERPO) beginning Jan. 1, 2020. The petitioner for an ERPO must establish by a preponderance of the evidence that a person poses a significant risk to self or others by having a firearm in his or her custody or control; or by possessing, purchasing or receiving a firearm. The petitioner must submit an affidavit signed under oath and penalty of perjury that sets forth facts to support the issuance of a temporary ERPO and a reasonable basis for believing they exist. The court must hold a temporary ERPO hearing in person or by telephone on the day the petition is filed or on the court day immediately following the day the petition is filed.
After issuance of a temporary ERPO, the court must schedule a second hearing no later than 14 days following the issuance to determine whether the issuance of a continuing ERPO is warranted. The court shall appoint counsel to represent the respondent at the hearing. If a family or household member or a law enforcement officer establishes by clear and convincing evidence that a person poses a significant risk to self or others by having a firearm in his or her custody or control or by possessing, purchasing or receiving a firearm, the court may issue a continuing ERPO. The ERPO prohibits the respondent from possessing, controlling, purchasing, or receiving a firearm for 364 days.
Upon issuance of the ERPO, the respondent shall surrender all of his or her firearms and his or her concealed carry permit if the respondent has one. The respondent may surrender his or her firearms either to a law enforcement agency or a federally licensed firearms dealer, or, if the firearm is an antique or relic or curio, the firearm may be surrendered to a family member who is eligible to possess a firearm and who does not reside with the respondent. If a person other than the respondent is determined to be the lawful owner of any firearms surrendered to law enforcement, the firearm must be returned to him or her.
The respondent can motion the court once during the 364-day ERPO for a hearing to terminate the ERPO. The respondent has the burden of proof at a termination hearing. The court shall terminate the ERPO if the respondent establishes by clear and convincing evidence that he or she no longer poses a significant risk of causing personal injury to self or others by having in his or her custody or control a firearm or by purchasing, possessing or receiving a firearm. The court may continue the hearing if the court cannot issue an order for termination at that time but believes there is a strong possibility the court could issue a termination order prior to the expiration of the ERPO.
The petitioner requesting the original ERPO may request an extension of the ERPO before it expires. The petitioner must show by clear and convincing evidence that the respondent continues to pose a significant risk of causing personal injury to self or others by having a firearm in his or her custody or control or by purchasing, possessing or receiving a firearm. If the ERPO expires or is terminated, all of the respondent’s firearms must be returned within three days of the respondent requesting return.
The act requires the state court administrator to develop and prepare standard petitions and ERPO forms. Additionally, the state court administrator at the judicial department’s “State Measurement for Accountable, Responsive and Transparent (SMART) Government Act” hearing shall provide statistics related to petitions for ERPOs.
The act appropriates $119,392 from the general fund to the judicial department for court costs, jury costs and court-appointed counsel costs.