The Zackari Parrish III Violence Prevention Act Would Save Lives

(May 7) – The Republican-controlled Senate State, Veterans & Military Affairs Committee voted 3-2 today to defeat the bipartisan HB18-1436, sponsored by Assistant Majority Leader Alec Garnett, D-Denver and Assistant Minority Leader Cole Wist, R-Centennial.

“Today, my colleagues in the Senate put politics over the lives and safety of first responders and members of our community,” Rep. Garnett said. “I will continue fighting for solutions addressing the scourge of gun violence and improving access to mental health services to those in crisis. Unfortunately, Senate Republicans voted to maintain the status quo, we are all forced to live with the consequences of doing nothing.”

The bill is named after Douglas County Deputy Sheriff Zackari Parrish III, who was killed in the line of duty last New Year’s Eve by an individual in the middle of a mental health crisis. If HB18-1436 had been in effect, the subject could have been unarmed when deputies moved to take him into custody on a 72-hour “mental health hold.”

Deputy Parrish’s widow and family support the bill. The bill also has the support of Deputy Parrish’s Sheriff, Tony Spurlock of Douglas County; Andrew Romanoff, executive director of Mental Health Colorado; Jane Dougherty, sister of the school psychologist killed in at the school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Arapahoe County Sheriff David Walcher, Boulder County Sheriff Joe Pelle, District Attorney George Brauchler, Congressman Mike Coffman, Vail Police Chief Dwight Henninger, Moms Demand Action Colorado and Colorado Cease Fire.

A recent poll showed that more than eighty-percent of Coloradans support “red flags” legislation.

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