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READ THE LETTER HERE.........

Daneya Esgar <daneya.esgar@gmail.com>
8:25 AM (9 hours ago)
to rick

Good morning Rick,

Thank you so much for reaching out to me. I always enjoy hearing from constituents. I want you to know that your voice was one of hundreds I listened to, from our community, on this bill. My constituency was split on this issue. My staff and I fielded phone calls, postcards, and emails from both sides of this bill.

As a gun owner, I was very interested in the details of this legislation. I read and re-read the bill several times and examined the amendments that were submitted and added to the bill during the first committee hearing. I then took my questions and concerns, along with those raised by my constituents, directly to the bill sponsors to help me better understand what the bill would and wouldn’t do. I listened to all ten hours of debate on the House Floor, and even voted yes on some amendments that were brought forward. But I didn’t stop there.

I asked for clarification on the constitutionality of the bill, directly from our Colorado Attorney General Phil Weiser. He directed me here for clarification: the constitutionality of ERPOs have been upheld in many court cases including: Redington v. Indiana (2013) when the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled that the state may restrict access to firearms by dangerous persons in the interest of public safety and welfare. In Connecticut Appellate Court, Hope v. State (2016) also upheld that a similar law does not violate the Second Amendment. Former U.S. Attorney John Walsh also explained to the committee during the House hearing how the language in the bill is legal under the Second, Fourth, and Fifth Amendments to the U.S. Constitution.

I also had concerns about the questions raised regarding due process. I wanted to know exactly what the process outlined in the bill looked like. I found that this bill has ample due process for the respondent including an opportunity to defend themselves in a full evidentiary hearing before a full ERPO is issued. Respondents are also provided legal counsel, paid for by the state. A family or household member or a law enforcement officer must establish by clear and convincing evidence that a person poses a significant risk to themselves or others by having a firearm in his or her custody or control. Law enforcement officials also testified in support of the bill.

I sorted through all of the information I found and the answers to questions I had. Then I reflected on my own story. I am a survivor of intentional gun violence. I literally wouldn’t have the honor of serving you all, had the gun pointed at me not jammed. The person who threatened to take his own life, before turning the gun on me, was in fact in the middle of a mental health crisis. Had this law been in effect, it may be possible that I would have never had to go through the trauma I have.

Ultimately, based off of all the information I learned about the due process protections, the legal foundation for this law, and the people that this bill would help, I decided to cast my vote in support of this bill. Although you may not agree with my vote, I want you to know, your concerns were heard, your questions were shared, and I did my best to go through the bill and find facts, instead the rhetoric I heard on both sides of the issue. This is the same way I approach every bill that comes before me. I take my job seriously. I understand the weight I have, representing such an amazing district full of diverse, smart, and articulate voices. Thank you again for reaching out on this important issue and please don’t hesitate to share your perspectives with me in the future on legislation being considered by the Colorado General Assembly.

Sincerely,

Representative Esgar
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