The Seattle Police Department has reportedly seized a man’s firearm under a new state law that permits gun confiscation using a so-called “extreme risk protection order.” It’s the first time that the new law, intended to keep guns out of the hands of people who may be a risk to themselves or others, has resulted in a forced gun seizure in the state.
The unidentified man forced to surrender his guns is accused by neighbors of intimidating people by staring them down with a gun holstered on his person, according to local reports. A neighbor who knew the suspect alleged the man was “roaming the hallways with a .25 caliber automatic,” which scared some residents.
It should be noted that automatic weapons are heavily regulated and essentially banned in the United States, so it’s possible the neighbor is mistaken.
Seattle police reportedly asked for an extreme risk protection order, or an “erpo,” to disarm the man due to the number of complaints they received.
KATU-TV reports it’s the first time police have had to confiscate a firearm under the new law because the gun owner refused to comply with orders to disarm:
A few dozen erpos have been served and executed around the state, but Seattle police said they are the only agency so far to seize a gun because the owner refused to hand it over.
Law enforcement professionals said these specialized protection orders could be a common sense strategy to try and prevent mass shootings – such as what happened in Parkland, Florida.
Sgt. Eric Pisconski said the extreme risk protection orders give police the option to disarm citizens when mental illness is suspected or when people are “exhibiting violent behavior.” It’s now the police’s job to determine whether or not those individuals should have access to guns.
The gun confiscation orders reportedly lasts for one year, but they are eligible for renewal.
Watch the local news report above for additional information.