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Seattle Police pre-seize lawful gun from man without arrest under ‘extreme risk’ law

Police line tape (Dreamstime/TNS)
April 11, 2018

Seattle recently put Washington state’s extreme risk protection order law, also known as a “red flag” law, to the test for the first time, according to a local report. The law allows police officers to seize an individual’s gun if they are deemed a “high risk.”

Seattle police served an extreme risk protection order to a 31-year-old Belltown man, and seized his firearm without arrest.

When the man initially refused to comply with police, they returned with the protection order.

The law allows for authorized law enforcement, family members and those in the community to petition for confiscation of firearms from a person considered to be a danger to themselves or others.

California, Oregon, Indiana and Connecticut have also enacted this law, and more states are expected to follow after the Parkland high school shooting, the Seattle Times reported.

Washington voters approved the extreme risk protection order in 2016.

“He was harassing and threatening some of his neighbors, and the behavior had been escalating,” said Seattle Police Detective Patrick Michaud.

“He was roaming the hallways with a .25 caliber automatic. And it created a lot of fear, obviously, because I didn’t know if he was coming after me or gonna just start shooting the place up,” said neighbor Tony Montana.

Other residents also complained that the man’s open carrying made them feel “uncomfortable” and “unsafe.”

Police said the man had a long list of priors, including harassment while armed. He also failed to comply with a judge’s order to surrender his guns as part of a criminal case.