This week, the Colorado House of Representatives is expected to consider House Bill 1253 for a second time. HB 1253, introduced by state Representative Elizabeth McCann (D-8), is a potentially volatile piece of mental health reform legislation that could result in additional gun owners losing their fundamental, constitutional rights. HB 1253 seeks to remove the option of a jury trial in certain civil commitment and substance abuse adjudications. Removal of this route could lead to a loss of firearms rights for many individuals.
In addition, this bill seeks to alter the current definitions and reporting processes of individuals committed for mental health or substance abuse issues. HB 1253 would expand the instances when those individuals must be submitted to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS) to include emergency holds. Further, it removes the requirement that danger to self or others be imminent in order to issue a mental health hold. The expansive provisions in HB 1253 would increase the number of individuals submitted to NICS and therefore prohibited from purchasing or possessing a firearm.
Expansion of instances when a mental health hold can be issued and removal of the option to choose a jury trial in civil commitment and substance abuse adjudications will only work to harm individuals in Colorado. This is a thinly veiled attempt to infringe on your Second Amendment rights. Please contact your state Representative NOW and urge him or her to OPPOSE HB 1253. Contact information for members of the Colorado House of Representatives can be found here.