Washington Carries Out Legal Gun Seizures Thanks To 'Red Flag' Laws

Washington state is carrying out legal gun seizures thanks to the state’s “red flag” law. Bearing Arms has addressed the positions for and against extreme risk protection orders and “red flag” laws in the past, but, according to a Fox News report, Second Amendment proponents, and even people who have had their firearms confiscated, approve of the measure.

Take the story of a 31-year-old veteran suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder who had his gun confiscated after he started to exhibit strange behavior.

Alexander Mckenzie, a 31-year-old Army veteran who, according to court documents, is being treated for post-traumatic stress disorder, recently had his gun confiscated by the Seattle Police Department even though he had committed no crime.

It’s one of 27 guns seized legally by the Seattle Police Department from 16 individuals since last July under Washington State’s new Extreme Risk Protection Order law.

McKenzie had been acting strange, glaring at customers of a pizza restaurant while carrying his handgun. He now agrees with the firearm seizure.

“I’m grateful that the police got the gun away from me,” McKenzie told Fox News.

While an individual’s firearm can be taken from them even though they have not committed a crime, there is still due process. Only a family member, roommate, or police officer can request the order, and it is on the individual seeking the order to prove that the gun owner is unfit to be in possession of the firearm. Based on the evidence presented, a judge makes the final determination, and then law enforcement is given the authority to seize the guns. However, the gun owner can challenge the ruling within a two week period.

Fox News even stated that there are gun advocates, once wary of the law, who now think it is an effective tool to combat gun violence. Law enforcement officers also agree that the policy has saved lives.

One shocking example of lives potentially being saved is when a former church member and gun owner threatened to kill his pastors and stated he wished a shooting like that in Sutherland Springs, Texas would happen there.

While this kind of legislation is only the law in a few states across the country, three senators are looking to pass it nationally. Senators Marco Rubio (R-FL), Bill Nelson (D-FL), and Jack Reed (D- RI) recently introduced the Extreme Risk Protection Order and Violence Protection Act.

The bill “will encourage states to give law enforcement the authority to prevent individuals who pose a threat to themselves or others the ability to purchase or possess firearms, while still providing due process protections.”

According to the press release, the bill “is included in Rubio’s plan to address gun violence, a multi-faceted approach to prevent future mass shootings by creating a more effective system to prevent gun violence before it happens.”