Tag Archives: red flag laws

Attritional strategy: Washington state wants to apply ERPOs to minors, prove you have no firearms in the family home

Just another way for the gun grabbers to confiscate guns from law-abiding citizens.

From MyNorthwest.com: Prosecutors in Washington are looking to expand the state’s Red Flag laws to include minors.

Red Flag laws – or Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPOS) – are civil orders that allow judges to temporarily suspend a person’s gun rights, even if they haven’t committed a crime, when they exhibit violent behavior that suggests they pose a risk to themselves or others.

Washington was among the first of five states to pass a Red Flag law when voters overwhelmingly approved I-1491 in 2016. Another eight states passed similar laws this year after the Parkland shooting, and four more states are considering them now.

The laws vary by state as far as who can petition the court for the civil orders, with some only allowing law enforcement to file for them, while others allow family members, roommates, people who share children, and some medical professionals to petition the courts.

In Washington, police and family members can petition the courts for an emergency 14-day order to take away a person’s guns. That can be followed with a one-year ban if the court is convinced the pattern of behavior shows the person is a risk to themselves or others.

State law is silent on whether minors can be the subject of an ERPO, but there is an effort to change that.

For the past several months, a legislative task force made up of police, mental health experts, school shooting survivors, the ACLU, and others has been meeting to develop strategies to prevent mass shootings, and it recently released a list of 25 recommendations.

Among the recommendations, clarifying state law to make clear ERPOs can apply to minors.

Prosecutor Kimberly Wyatt with King County’s Regional Domestic Violence Firearms Unit – the only specialized unit in the state that helps other police agencies statewide and family members with ERPOs – believes the orders should apply to juveniles.

“We’ve had that issue come up multiple times, and we’ve been asked around the state by other law enforcement agencies that are struggling with the same issue. To date, I don’t know of any that have been filed yet against juveniles, but we have one particular case where we are making that recommendation to law enforcement right now,” Wyatt said.

In this case, they are working with a school resource officer at a school where a student under 18 is facing charges for a crime, requiring he not have access to weapons to determine if they need an Extreme Risk Protection Order.

“We would file the ERPO against the juvenile because the father has access to firearms in the home, and the father is not being cooperative with law enforcement to confirm that the firearms are out of the home,” Wyatt said.

She said police had tried several times to confirm with the father where the guns are located, but he refuses to comply.

Wyatt said using the ERPO would not be about taking away the father’s firearms rights.

We’re trying to say, ‘Dad lawfully can possess those guns,’ and we would hope that most parents have given law enforcement reassurances where the firearms are. But in this particular case, the father has declined to give any of those reassurances. So we would say that the juvenile could not be in that home with access to firearms. If dad wants to keep the firearms in the home and not share the information, you know that puts him in a difficult position,” Wyatt said.

If the ERPO was served on the child in this case, the dad would then have to choose between proving to law enforcement where the guns are so they know they’re not in the house, or having the child live elsewhere.

Wyatt says overall, they are seeing a lot of success with ERPOs, including another case where they served one to an 18-year-old student in Seattle, who police came to talk to regarding a drug issue and were allowed to search his bag. When school officials and law enforcement searched the student’s bag, they found a loaded gun with the safety off in the backpack.

Wyatt said that on top of the criminal issues there, that the 18-year-old showed extremely negligent behavior with a firearm. That ultimately was why they filed an ERPO against the student, to ensure he could no longer legally buy guns currently legally available.

Those are just some of the examples Wyatt gave lawmakers earlier this month to highlight the importance of ERPOs, and the urgent need to clarify the state law on their use in juvenile cases, as the work group recommended.

The work group also recommended more promotion of the existence of ERPOs and their uses to both law enforcement and the public, and that a second violation of an Extreme Risk Protection Order leads to the permanent loss of a person’s firearms rights.

DCG

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Why no Red Flag law enforcement? Mercy Hospital shooter allowed to purchase gun despite previously threatening to shoot up fire academy

Last Monday a shooter went to Mercy Hospital in Chicago and killed his ex-fiancé, a pharmacy resident and a Chicago police officer. He shot himself yet was killed by a police bullet. The shooter wanted a ring back from his ex-fiancé, which led to this tragic incident.

Read about the whole incident here.

Of course without knowing all the details about the shooter, the gun grabbers blamed the NRA, Dana Loesch and lack of gun control.

Let’s take a look at the details we now know, shall we?

According to the Chicago Tribune, the shooter had a troubled history, particularly with women. From their report:

Five years ago, the shooter had threatened to shoot up the Chicago Fire Department Academy, around the time he was fired for failing to show up to work while facing allegations of “improper conduct” toward women there.”

According to a spokesman for the Chicago Fire Department, the shooter was accused of aggressive and improper conduct toward females at the academy and he did not successfully complete his training and was terminated before he finished the academy. No one at the Academy ever reported the threat made to shoot up the Academy to the police.

In 2014, his ex-wife obtained a temporary order of protection against him, alleging that he slept with a pistol under his pillow and had pointed a gun at someone.

Police had advised his ex-wife on how to get a protective order. Police did not investigate further (after the shooter sent his ex-wife harassing texts) nor did they seek out the shooter. The police had “limited probable cause” to pursue the matter.

More details included in that temporary order of protection from Chicago Tribune:

The shooter had twice “pulled out his gun with intent to harm” people when he felt threatened or startled in the prior weeks. In the first instance, he pointed a gun at a real estate agent who arrived at his apartment after forgetting that he had scheduled an appointment to show the home. In another incident, the shooter “felt threatened by a neighbor and ran outside with his gun to look for him,” according to the court records.

The order signed by a judge that day included a demand that Lopez “should be ordered to surrender any and all firearms to the local law enforcement agency.” The order of protection was in effect just over two weeks. A judge dismissed it Dec. 17.”

Despite the two incidents above (threat to shoot up the Academy and temporary protective order), the shooter was licensed to carry a concealed weapon. It was unclear whether the shooter’s alleged past conduct had ever led to any review or temporary revocation of his permission to own or carry a gun.

The shooter was able to obtain an FOID card and a concealed carry permit in 2016. Chicago Police reviewed his application and were unaware of the dismissed protective order. Since the protective order was dismissed, the police could not have denied the shooter a license to carry.

One final note from the Chicago Tribune report: “It was unclear whether Lopez’s legal ability to own or carry a gun was ever challenged or revoked. Officials from the Illinois State Police, the agency responsible for issuing those credentials, declined to comment.”

As defenders of the Second Amendment, we are big fans of due process. From the looks of it, the shooter did not have any legal reason why he could not obtain an FOID license.

But what about the “Red Flag” law that is designed to confiscate firearms of a person deemed an immediate and present danger to themselves or others?

About the “Red Flag” law in Illinois (excerpts from 430 ILCS 65/1):

“Sec. 1. It is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination that in order to promote and protect the health, safety and welfare of the public, it is necessary and in the public interest to provide a system of identifying persons who are not qualified to acquire or possess firearms, firearm ammunition, stun guns, and tasers within the State of Illinois by the establishment of a system of Firearm Owner’s Identification Cards, thereby establishing a practical and workable system by which law enforcement authorities will be afforded an opportunity to identify those persons who are prohibited by Section 24-3.1 of the Criminal Code of 2012, from acquiring or possessing firearms and firearm ammunition and who are prohibited by this Act from acquiring stun guns and tasers.”

The statute goes on to describe ways in which firearms can be confiscated from a person who communicates a serious threat or physical act of violence against a reasonably identifiable victim; or demonstrates a threatening physical or verbal behavior such as assaultive threats or actions. This can be determined by a law enforcement official, among other people.

Just how “workable” is this system?

The shooter had clearly communicated a serious threat of violence when he threatened to shoot up the Chicago Fire Department Academy. The shooter displayed assaultive actions when he pulled out his gun with intent to harm.

Why did no one report these incidents to the local police? Why did no one feel the need to initiate a proceeding to enforce the Red Flag law?

Gun grabbers want laws on the books to confiscate firearms of dangerous people. Yet are these laws intentionally designed to be useless? This Red Flag law is only enforceable IF someone takes action.

According to gun grabbers Everytown: “Red Flag Laws can save lives by creating a way for family members and law enforcement to act before warning signs escalate into tragedies.”

Key word here is “act.”

If no one acts on warning signs, then dangerous people cannot be stopped.

The cynical side of me believes the “Red Flag” law was designed with inherent flaws. Not everyone will “act” to prevent shootings.

And by the reasoning of gun grabbers, if gun control laws don’t work then shouldn’t the government – as the protector of public safety – confiscate all guns? After all, it would be much less messier to confiscate than nuke the “resisters.”

DCG

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