Peter Boyles Show, George Brauchler, September 25, 2018

Station:    KNUS, 710 am

Show:       Peter Boyles Show

Guests:    Brauchler


Date:        September 25, 2018

Topics:     Red Flag Laws, Greg Brophy, 2018 Colorado Legislative Session, Cole Wist, Gun Control, Gun Safety, Confiscation, Law Enforcement, Mental Illness, Mental Health, Second Amendment (2nd), Colorado State Senate, Background Checks, Magaziner Limits, 2013 Colorado Legislative Session, Broward County, Florida, Gun Confiscations, Extreme Risk Protective Orders, Tony Spurlock, Dave Welcher, Jeff Parish, Sheriffs,

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HOST PETER BOYLES: [00:00:00] George, what have we learned about this — these laws and how these laws work?

GOP CANDIDATE FOR COLORADO ATTORNEY GENERAL, AND CURRENT DISTRICT ATTORNEY FOR COLORADO’S 18TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT, GEORGE BRAUCHLER: [00:00:05] Well, first, let me say this, you know, Greg is a good buddy. And Greg, more than probably any other person in my life, blew up my phone with texts and helpful phone calls saying, “Dude, rethink where you’re going with this, just because I have X, Y, and Z concerns and all these other things.” And it’s a good question, Pete, because what we have seen now after this period of time where I think there was maybe 20-plus states,  — in the light of all these mass shootings that tend to be developing across the country, or at least the perception that there are an increased number of shootings by the mentally ill, and I have that perception, too — but 20 plus states went down this road in various versions.  And you know, what we started to see in other parts of the country that went further than we did and actually passed it — like Florida — is Greg’s fears [realized] and I think the fears of many Second Amendment supporters — and I consider myself one, as well — and legitimate gun owners was like, “Look, this is what we’re talking about!” You look at Broward County Florida — and I think that’s probably the first best example — in six months, that — I think if the sheriff’s department; it could be all law enforcement agencies — have eclipsed almost eclipsed, I think, the number of times that these particular Extreme Risk Protection Orders have been issued in 12 years in Indiana with similar legislation. And that, to me, is an eye opening — I think — realization that this thing is, I think, it’s ripe for abuse in the wrong hands. Now, remember though, when we were in this position to have this conversation before, in the aftermath of Jeff Parish — which was not the first officer shooting that we’ve had someone who was dangerously mentally ill — I’ve got two of the world class sheriffs in the country, you know, that work for me — I mean, work with me: Dave Welcher and Tony Spurlock. And so it’s easier, I think, for people who have said, “These are two guys that would never abuse this.” And I do believe that. But I also believe that in light of what we’re seeing around the country with some of these other bills being floated, “Oh, my goodness! Who comes after Tony and Dave? Or who comes after the person that comes after Tony and Dave?” And once you have cracked open the door to the potential abuse that exists in a law like this, it’s ‘Katy, bar the door!’ And we cannot have that on this issue. [We] can’t have it.

BOYLES:  [00:02:31] As — I hope — the next Attorney General, how do we stand on all of this?

BRAUCHLER: [00:02:36] Well, in terms of the policy piece, which — I’d love to be part of that conversation. One thing I think that we’re in a position to do a lot better now, that we weren’t back in late April, early May, just before the session dropped, was to not be shoehorned into a one-size-fits-all approach, especially one that challenges the Second Amendment in a way that just, I think, is too risky — for me personally, but also, I think, for the community. Instead, we have to focus — and I agree with Greg on this part — it is the mental health piece. And as someone who has been swimming around in the criminal justice system from about every angle for almost the last quarter century, the two greatest areas in need of some investment of resources and attention in a way that we haven’t done it thus far, is addiction and mental health. And if we can lick those two things, and figure out a way to do those two things, we’d have a very different criminal justice system that we’re dealing with. The part where Greg and I disagree is that I don’t think that our existing laws can be made to work. And here’s why I say that: we do have a 72 hour mental health hold, but it’s fake. And when I say that, you know, having talked to as many law enforcement officers in my jurisdiction as I have, the idea — and practically speaking — how we find someone to be an imminent risk to themselves or others–. I mean, it’s almost as if unless you pull them over on their way to something with all the guns loaded, locked, and ready to go and then murmuring something about wanting to use them, you can’t achieve a level high enough to put them in a place where you can get them the help that they need. And I agree with Greg: It is not about the guns. It should never be about guns. What it really should be about is, how do we identify those people who we can bring help to, to keep them safe, not just for themselves but for their family members and put them back on track to be autonomous — if they can be — in the community. But we don’t have that law, practically speaking. On paper, yes, [we have a law that addresses that concern,] but it doesn’t work that way. We need to adjust — in my way, in my mind — how we think about imminence, and how we define imminence in a way that when Tony Spurlock’s guys take a guy into the emergency room — because we have no other mental health resources available for them, — that when an ER doc goes in and talks to this person and evaluates them, they can’t say, “Well, yeah, I do think that they’re in need of some medical help. I do think that there’s an issue here. But I don’t find that it is imminent, under the statutory definition of ‘imminent.’”  That doesn’t help us, and it hasn’t helped us now, for many years.

BRAUCHLER: [00:05:04] It can’t be about the guns, [It has] got to be about the mental health.