Could firearms confiscations -- like those in New Orleans -- happen in Colorado?

Firearms Confiscations in New Orleans

Sept. 10, 2005 -- By now you have undoubtedly heard the reports of gun confiscations in New Orleans.  In addition to denouncing this in the press, Gun Owners of America and Rocky Mountain Gun Owners will also be looking to draft legislation at both the state and federal level to preclude authorities from imposing ANY firearms restrictions during emergency response activities.

That government at any level would remove from citizens' hands the very tools critical to their self-defense -- especially in light of the failure of government to provide protection -- is outrageous.

Currently, Colorado law does not give state government the authority to confiscate legally owned firearms (see Colorado Revised Statutes, below).

In fact, in the 2003 Colorado Legislature, RMGO supported a bill that removed the broad power of the Governor to regulate firearms in the case of an "insurrection".

As you can see from existing law below, state law still claims the Governor retains the ability to "...Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of ... firearms..."

We will advise when there is more news on this front.


24-32-2103. Definitions.

As used in this part 21, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Bioterrorism" means the intentional use of microorganisms or toxins of biological origin to cause death or disease among humans or animals.

(1.3) "Committee" means the governor's expert emergency epidemic response committee created in section 24-32-2104.

(1.5) "Disaster" means the occurrence or imminent threat of widespread or severe damage, injury, or loss of life or property resulting from any natural cause or cause of human origin, including but not limited to fire, flood, earthquake, wind, storm, wave action, hazardous substance incident, oil spill or other water contamination requiring emergency action to avert danger or damage, volcanic activity, epidemic, air pollution, blight, drought, infestation, explosion, civil disturbance, hostile military or paramilitary action, or a condition of riot, insurrection, or invasion existing in the state or in any county, city, town, or district in the state.

(1.7) "Emergency epidemic" means cases of an illness or condition, communicable or noncommunicable, caused by bioterrorism, pandemic influenza, or novel and highly fatal infectious agents or biological toxins.

(1.9) "Pandemic influenza" means a widespread epidemic of influenza caused by a highly virulent strain of the influenza virus.

(2) "Political subdivision" means any county, city and county, city, or town and may include any other agency designated by law as a political subdivision of the state.

(3) "Search and rescue" means the employment, coordination, and utilization of available resources and personnel in locating, relieving distress and preserving life of, and removing survivors from the site of a disaster, emergency, or hazard to a place of safety in case of lost, stranded, entrapped, or injured persons.

History

Source: L. 92: Entire part added, p. 1014, § 5, effective March 12. L. 2000: (1) amended and (1.3), (1.5), (1.7) and (1.9) added, p. 83, § 1, effective March 15. L. 2003: (1.5) amended, p. 2176, § 1, effective June 3.

Top of Form

24-32-2104. The governor and disaster emergencies.

Statute text

(1) The governor is responsible for meeting the dangers to the state and people presented by disasters.

(2) Under this part 21, the governor may issue executive orders, proclamations, and regulations and amend or rescind them. Executive orders, proclamations, and regulations have the force and effect of law.

(3) (a) There is hereby created a governor's disaster emergency council, referred to in this part 21 as the "council", consisting of not less than six nor more than nine members. The attorney general, the adjutant general, and the executive directors of the following departments shall be members: Personnel, transportation, public safety, and natural resources. The additional members, if any, shall be appointed by the governor from among the executive directors of the other departments. The governor shall serve as chairperson of the council, and a majority shall constitute a quorum. The council shall meet at the call of the governor and shall advise the governor and the director of the division of emergency management on all matters pertaining to the declaration of disasters and the disaster response and recovery activities of the state government; except that nothing in the duties of the council shall be construed to limit the authority of the governor to act without the advice of the council when the situation calls for prompt and timely action when disaster threatens or exists.

(b) The members of the governor's disaster emergency council, as such existed prior to March 12, 1992, shall become the initial members of the council on March 12, 1992.

(4) A disaster emergency shall be declared by executive order or proclamation of the governor if the governor finds a disaster has occurred or that this occurrence or the threat thereof is imminent. The state of disaster emergency shall continue until the governor finds that the threat of danger has passed or that the disaster has been dealt with to the extent that emergency conditions no longer exist and the governor terminates the state of disaster emergency by executive order or proclamation, but no state of disaster emergency may continue for longer than thirty days unless renewed by the governor. The general assembly, by joint resolution, may terminate a state of disaster emergency at any time. Thereupon, the governor shall issue an executive order or proclamation ending the state of disaster emergency. All executive orders or proclamations issued under this subsection (4) shall indicate the nature of the disaster, the area threatened, and the conditions which have brought it about or which make possible termination of the state of disaster emergency. An executive order or proclamation shall be disseminated promptly by means calculated to bring its contents to the attention of the general public and, unless the circumstances attendant upon the disaster prevent or impede, shall be promptly filed with the division of emergency management, the secretary of state, and the county clerk and recorder and disaster agencies in the area to which it applies.

(5) An executive order or proclamation of a state of disaster emergency shall activate the disaster response and recovery aspects of the state, local, and interjurisdictional disaster emergency plans applicable to the political subdivision or area in question and shall be authority for the deployment and use of any forces to which the plans apply and for use or distribution of any supplies, equipment, and materials and facilities assembled, stockpiled, or arranged to be made available pursuant to this part 21 or any other provision of law relating to disaster emergencies.

(6) During the continuance of any state of disaster emergency, the governor is commander-in-chief of the organized and unorganized militia and of all other forces available for emergency duty. To the greatest extent practicable, the governor shall delegate or assign command authority by prior arrangement embodied in appropriate executive orders or regulations, but nothing in this section restricts the governor's authority to do so by orders issued at the time of the disaster emergency.

(7) In addition to any other powers conferred upon the governor by law, the governor may:

(a) Suspend the provisions of any regulatory statute prescribing the procedures for conduct of state business or the orders, rules, or regulations of any state agency, if strict compliance with the provisions of any statute, order, rule, or regulation would in any way prevent, hinder, or delay necessary action in coping with the emergency;

(b) Utilize all available resources of the state government and of each political subdivision of the state as reasonably necessary to cope with the disaster emergency;

(c) Transfer the direction, personnel, or functions of state departments and agencies or units thereof for the purpose of performing or facilitating emergency services;

(d) Subject to any applicable requirements for compensation under section 24-32-2111, commandeer or utilize any private property if the governor finds this necessary to cope with the disaster emergency;

(e) Direct and compel the evacuation of all or part of the population from any stricken or threatened area within the state if the governor deems this action necessary for the preservation of life or other disaster mitigation, response, or recovery;

(f) Prescribe routes, modes of transportation, and destinations in connection with evacuation;

(g) Control ingress to and egress from a disaster area, the movement of persons within the area, and the occupancy of premises therein;

(h) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, or combustibles; and

(i) Make provision for the availability and use of temporary emergency housing.


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