Despite having one of the strictest Red Flag Laws in the United States, Colorado’s legislation did nothing to stop Ahmad Al-Issa from owning and using guns.
Ahmad Al-Issa, the man police say murdered 10 people at the King Soopers shopping center in Boulder, Colorado this week, was known by the FBI due to an unrelated investigation. He believes in conspiracy theories, including that “racist Islamophobic people” are hacking into his phone, and that there was more than one shooter involved in the Christchurch Mosque Shooting in New Zealand. He also used to attack his classmates, accusing them of racism, and then would reportedly threaten to file hate crime charges to bully them into submission. Additionally, a law enforcement source told Syrian migration expert Laura Loomer that Al-Issa committed the attack in the name of ISIS.
On January 1, 2020, Colorado adopted an extreme version of the Extreme Risk Protection Orders legislation supported by Democrats and establishment Republicans. Should the ERPO, or Red Flag Law, be used on an individual, it can keep them from possessing or buying a weapon legally for 364 days.
In Colorado, the person on the receiving end of the ERPO has all the burden of proof. They must convince the court that they are sane and of sound mind and are not going to behave dangerously with their weapons. They must also do this right the first time, as Colorado only gives the recipient one opportunity to motion the court for a hearing per year.
Additionally, the person requesting the ERPO can, at any time, petition the court to extend the ERPO. In theory, this Red Flag Law could be used to legally deprive an American citizen of their Constitutional right to bear arms indefinitely.
Yet, Ahmad Al-Issa, a Syrian born Muslim migrant to the United States who police say murdered 10 white people at a King Soopers in Boulder, Colorado this week, was never the recipient of an ERPO. Despite his troubled history, and being known by the FBI, he was able to legally acquire a gun.
According to the New York Post, Al-Issa bought “AR-556 pistol on March 16” with little to no difficulty. Police say this is the weapon he used to murder 10 people.