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Highlands Ranch Herald 7

August 15, 2019

DA calls for measures to curb gun violence Brauchler says firearms laws must have ‘sharp teeth’ BY JESSICA GIBBS JGIBBS@COLORADOCOMMUNITYMEDIA.COM

In the days following a pair of highprofile mass shootings, one in Ohio and one in Texas, 18th Judicial District Attorney George Brauchler announced a multipronged plan to prevent gun violence in his jurisdiction. Brauchler The bulk of his approach, announced in a statement Aug. 6, will lean on existing Colorado gun laws to crack down

on illegal firearms transactions. But it also calls for legislation in 2020 that would strengthen penalties for illegal gun possession among felons and revamp the state’s mental-health hold system. “Our gun laws need to have teeth, sharp teeth,” Brauchler said regarding convicted felons who obtain guns. He has also requested funding from county commissioners in the 18th Judicial District — which comprises Arapahoe, Douglas, Elbert and Lincoln counties — for an additional investigator who would work with local agencies to probe illegal firearms transactions. Brauchler chided the nature of national debates over mass shooting and gun violence prevention that flare with each new tragedy. Debate surged nationwide the weekend of Aug. 3 following shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. The shoot-

ings left a combined 31 people dead, the Associated Press reported. Brauchler’s announcement said his plans rely on “practical measures” that should “be quickly implemented here in Colorado.” “We must resist getting caught up in a debate of ‘Who is right?’ instead of ‘What is right?’ Rather than getting mired down in controversial and divisive legislation, I am committed to implementing measures in my jurisdiction now using tools the Legislature has already given,” he said. The announcement did not name any one piece of legislation in particular, but the 2019 state legislative session produced fiery battles in the gun rights arena. Colorado in April ushered in a contentious red flag law that has spurred talk of recall efforts against supporters like Douglas County Sheriff Tony

Spurlock, who passionately backed the legislation as it worked through the Democrat-controlled state Legislature in 2019. The act is named for fallen Douglas County Deputy Zackari Parrish. The red flag law allows a judge to order a person’s guns be removed if they are believed to a significant risk to themselves or others. The committee planning to recall Spurlock hopes to begin circulating petitions this fall. The 2019 bill was not the first attempt at red flag legislation in Colorado. In the previous session, a similar bill was introduced but voted down. Brauchler, a Republican from Parker, supported the prior version but backed away from the 2019 version, citing concerns over differences between the two bills. SEE VIOLENCE, P10

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