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Police seize guns over threats against attorney general

January 6, 2021 GMT

DENVER (AP) — Denver police used a relatively new state law to get a court order in November to seize the firearms of a man who allegedly threatened to kill Colorado’s attorney general and other officials last year, according to court records.

Bryce Shelby, 28, was under investigation by the FBI when he made plans with an undercover agent to shoot Attorney General Phil Weiser in the head after planning to obtain a getaway vehicle, according to the Nov. 3 application by police under Colorado’s extreme risk protection order law.

Shelby began planning the assassination around July, driving by Weiser’s house more than once, including the alley behind his home, according to the affidavit from Detective Brad Baker in support of the application, which was first reported by The Denver Post. The affidavit said that Shelby “self-identifies” with the Black Panther Party and also wanted to “eliminate” other officials, including the mayors and police chiefs of Denver and nearby Aurora.

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“The Respondent has said he will ‘pull the trigger’ himself and does not mind getting ‘blood on his hands,’” Baker wrote of Shelby.

Shelby has not been charged with a crime. But the so-called red flag law that took effect in 2020 allows family or household members or law enforcement to seek a temporary removal of someone’s guns because they believe they are a threat to themselves or others.

On Nov. 12, a judge granted an order requiring Shelby to surrender his guns to police and not possess any firearms for 364 days, the maximum time allowed under the law.

Shelby’s lawyer, Michael Graetz, declined to comment.

Denver police confirmed Tuesday that they had taken the weapons.

During the summer, law enforcement notified Weiser of “serious threats” that were made against him and other officials but, after learning the findings of their investigation, Weiser asked that they not pursue criminal charges, Weiser’s spokesperson Lawrence Pacheco said. He would not elaborate.

Weiser supported the Denver police’s decision to pursue the confiscation of Shelby’s weapons, he said.