One day after Colorado’s new firearm seizure law took effect, Denver police invoked the “red flag” law, seeking a judge’s approval to let them keep guns they confiscated from a man who allegedly beat his wife and made suicidal statements to investigators, the Washington Post reports. The law took effect Jan. 1, adding Colorado to a growing list of states that allow authorities to seize firearms from people deemed to be at risk of harming themselves or others. A day later, a sergeant from the Denver Police Department’s domestic violence unit filed the petition in probate court. A court spokesman believes it was the first petition submitted under the statute.
The swift application of the law reflects a growing public awareness of “red flag” laws, which have proliferated in the nearly two years since a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in Parkland, Fl. “It suggests that police know that there’s a need for orders like this and that they know they possess information that can save lives,” said Mark Rosenberg, who formerly oversaw gun violence research at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.