Jared Polis-guns

Gov. Jared Polis told reporters Tuesday that sheriffs will retain the authority to set law-enforcement priorities.

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis told reporters Tuesday that sheriffs in Colorado have the autonomy to set local law enforcement priorities. That would include the red-flag gun bill currently being hammered out by fellow Democrats in the Legislature.

The governor's position is notably short of that of another fellow Colorado Democrat: Attorney General Phil Weiser.

Two weeks ago Weiser said sheriffs should resign if they are unwilling to enforce the proposed law that would remove guns, at least temporarily, from those deemed by a judge to be a threat to themselves or others.

Leaders in a handful of Colorado counties have declared themselves Second Amendment "sanctuary" counties that won't enforce the gun law, if it's passed by Democratic majorities in the House and Senate and signed into law by Polis.

Those counties so far include El Paso, Weld Elbert, Fremont and other conservative enclaves. 

"Certainly sheriffs have the ability to prioritize their resources in regard to law enforcement," Polis said Tuesday morning in his office. "But, of course, sheriff also is not a law-making position in our state. It's a law enforcement division."

Polis said he was confident that  the extreme risk protection order proposed under House Bill 1177 would help save lives while preserving due process for those in a dangerous, temporary mental state.

Asked if he would intervene regarding a sheriff not enforcing the law, he said, "Every law enforcement agency has to make prioritization a factor. For instance, I supported and was glad the previous (U.S.) attorney general de-prioritized the enforcement of marijuana laws in states where they were legal."

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