DENVER — The top Democrat in the Colorado Senate will not support the so-called red flag bill - one of his party's chief priorities this legislative session  - when it comes up for a vote.

Senate President Leroy Garcia (D-Pueblo) says that while he believes in the bill, he doesn't feel that it has his constituents' support.

"I took a hard look at this bill, and while I strongly believe in its intent of preventing gun violence, this is simply not the right legislation for the people of Pueblo and southern Colorado," he wrote in a statement provided to Next with Kyle Clark from a Senate spokesperson.

He continued, "Make no mistake - As a Marine veteran, I firmly believe that we can work together while respecting the rights of responsible gun owners and addressing the issues at hand. I want to continue working with my colleagues to find a Colorado solution.”

Under HB19-1177, a family member, household member or law enforcement officer can petition the court to have someone's guns taken away. The complainant would have to present evidence to a judge that shows the person is a risk to themselves or others.

A vote is expected sometime this week. Without Garcia's support, Democrats now have a one-vote margin (18-17) when it comes to passing the bill.

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About half of Colorado's 64 counties have vowed they won't enforce the bill if and when it becomes law. The night before Garcia's announcement, Pueblo decided it wouldn't join those local governments in becoming a "2nd Amendment sanctuary." 

Councilman Mark Aliff introduced the resolution, which was shut down within five minutes after he didn't get a second motion. The public did not have an opportunity to comment on the failed resolution. 

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The Pueblo Chieftain was the first to report Garcia's decision.

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