September 29, 2020

Extreme Risk Protective Order Death by Legislation

Red-Flag Death
Monday November 5, 2018 at 5:17am two police officers from the Anne Arundel County Police were sent to the home of 61-year-old Gary Willis and order to remove the guns from his residence.  This was in response to a complaint filed by a family member under the State of Maryland’s newly adopted Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO) (commonly known as Red-Flag Law).

Extreme Risk Protective Order results in loss of life

Extreme Risk Protective Order results in deathRed-Flag Death

Monday November 5, 2018 at 5:17am two police officers from the Anne Arundel County Police were sent to the home of 61-year-old Gary Willis and order to remove the guns from his residence.  This was in response to a complaint filed by a family member under the State of Maryland’s newly adopted Extreme Risk Protective Order(ERPO) (commonly known as Red-Flag Law).

Sgt. Davis said the man put the gun down. But then, according to a police press release, Willis “became irate” when officers attempted to serve the order. Willis picked the weapon up again, “a fight ensued over the gun,” and a shot was fired, Davis said. The first shot didn’t strike anyone, but the officers then fatally shot the man, Sgt. Davis said.
https://www.cbsnews.com/news/maryland-officers-serving-red-flag-gun-removal-order-fatally-shoot-armed-man/

Extreme Risk Protective Order being servedIt is not clear as to the reason behind the order as the law states all orders are confidential unless a court orders otherwise. One of Willis’ nieces said another family member requested the protective order to temporarily remove his guns after an incident at the house Sunday.

What the Law says

Maryland legislators passed the law last year authorizing “extreme risk protective order,” also known as a red flag law. It allows family members, law enforcement and others to seek a court order to temporarily prohibit people’s access to firearms when they show red flags that they are a danger to themselves or others.

Who can petition for an Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO)

According to the Maryland Law the following people are allowed to file a petition under the new law

  • spouse;
  • cohabitant;
  • relative by blood, marriage, or adoption;
  • person with child(ren) in common;
  • current dating or intimate partner;
  • current or former legal guardian;
  • law enforcement officer; or
  • medical professional who has examined the respondent (this includes a physician, psychologist, clinical social worker, licensed clinical professional counselor, clinical nurse specialist in psychiatric and mental health nursing, psychiatric nurse practitioner, licensed clinical marriage or family therapist, or health officer or designee of a health officer who has examined the individual).

Under the law a petition is filed in the court explaining the potential dangers.  A judge will need specific reasons why the person might harm themselves or someone else.  The petition must include things, such as, how many guns the person has and where the weapons are.  If approved, a judge has the authority to take someone’s guns away within hours when someone files a petition.

Reasons for petitioning for an Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO)

Extreme Risk Protective Order results in loss of lifeAccording to Maryland Courts the following are reasons to file a petition for an Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO)

A person who poses an immediate and present danger of causing personal injury to self or others by having firearms.  The person who is alleged to be a danger is called the respondent.

Factors demonstrating possible risk include:

  • alarming behavior and statements;
  • unlawful firearm possession;
  • reckless or negligent firearm use;
  • violence or threats of violence to self or others;
  • violating peace or protective orders;
  • drug and/or alcohol abuse; and/or
  • information contained in health records.

An Extreme Risk Protective Order can be filed against a minor.
https://mdcourts.gov/district/ERPO

How to file for an Extreme Risk Protective Order (ERPO)

To file for a ERPO the following needs to be provided:

  • State specifically how the respondent presents an immediate and present danger of hurting himself/herself, you, or others if he/she has a firearm.
  • Describe the respondent’s behaviors and any statements made about hurting himself/herself or others.
  • State that the respondent possesses firearms; provide a description and the location for each firearm.
  • Sign the petition. By signing, you are stating under the penalties of perjury the information is true.
  • A petitioner who, in good faith, files a Petition for Extreme Risk Protective Order is not civilly or criminally liable for filing the petition.

A Temporary hearing is held after the petition is filed:

  • The judge may issue a temporary order if he/she reasonably believes the respondent, by having firearms, poses an immediate and present danger of causing injury to himself/herself, you, or others.
  • The judge may hold a final hearing instead of a temporary hearing if:
    • (a) the respondent appears at the hearing; (b) the respondent has been served with an interim extreme risk protective order; or (c) the court otherwise has personal jurisdiction over the respondent; and
    • the petitioner and the respondent expressly consent to waive the temporary extreme risk protective order hearing.
  • If court is closed unexpectedly, hearing will be held on the next day on which the court is open.

If granted a final hearing is to be held:

  • The judge may issue a temporary order if he/she reasonably believes the respondent, by having firearms, poses an immediate and present danger of causing injury to himself/herself, you, or others.
  • The judge may hold a final hearing instead of a temporary hearing if:
  • (a) the respondent appears at the hearing; (b) the respondent has been served with an interim extreme risk protective order; or (c) the court otherwise has personal jurisdiction over the respondent; and
  • the petitioner and the respondent expressly consent to waive the temporary extreme risk protective order hearing.
  • If court is closed unexpectedly, hearing will be held on the next day on which the court is open.

The following is the duration of the various Extreme Risk Protective Order

  • An Interim ERPO usually lasts until the Temporary ERPO hearing, but not beyond the second business day after issued unless the court is unexpectedly closed.
  • A Temporary ERPO lasts until the Final ERPO hearing, but not beyond six (6) months.
  • A Final ERPO may remain in effect for as long as one (1) year. The court for good cause may extend the term of the order for an additional six (6) months after a subsequent hearing.

What does this mean?

Given the very broad nature of the people that can file a petition and the very broad nature of the reasons for issuing this means that an ERPO can be filed against anyone at any time.  A simple argument that gets heated could result in the police knocking at your door at 5 am pushing an order in your face and saying they are taking your guns.

Extreme Risk Protective Order cost a life but, did it save livesWhile we do not fully know the reasons behind the petition that was filed, we do know that a family member filed the petition after a heated argument.

Michele, who had identified herself to the Sun as Gary’s niece, said she had grown up in the house. She noted that her uncle “likes to speak his mind,” but she described him as harmless.

Michele was present at the house Sunday night, helping her son, who had been helping to care for her grandmother, move out when the police came to speak to Gary Willis for the first time, telling the Sun that visit could be attributed to “family being family,” but didn’t offer further explanation. She said one of her aunts requested the protective order to temporarily remove Willis’ guns.

“They didn’t need to do what they did,” Michele Willis told the Sun, adding that she wishes officers had continued negotiations with her uncle and that the altercation didn’t result in his death.
https://www.range365.com/police-fatally-shoot-maryland-man-while-serving-red-flag-order#page-2

Now a man is dead after being denied his right to due process and an attempt to violate his property rights.

Caution

Red-Flag legislation is being introduced across the country in response to several tragedies that have happened.  These laws are not Constitutional and they should never be allowed to be passed.  The problem is that many of the elected representatives at the state level disregard an individual’s rights and the Rights protected by the Constitution of not only the United States but their own states.

Declaration of Rights
Article 21.
That in all criminal prosecutions, every man hath a right to be informed of the accusation against him; to have a copy of the Indictment, or charge, in due time (if required) to prepare for his defence; to be allowed counsel; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have process for his witnesses; to examine the witnesses for and against him on oath; and to a speedy trial by an impartial jury, without whose unanimous consent he ought not to be found guilty.
Maryland State Constitution

Declaration of Rights
Article 24.
That no man ought to be taken or imprisoned or disseized of his freehold, liberties or privileges, or outlawed, or exiled, or, in any manner, destroyed, or
Maryland State Constitution

Declaration of Rights
Article 25.
deprived of his life, liberty or property, but by the judgment of his peers, or by the Law of the land. (1977, ch. 681, ratified Nov. 7, 1978.)
Maryland State Constitution

Article I
Elective Franchise
Section 9.
Every person elected, or appointed, to any office of profit or trust, under this Constitution, or under the Laws, made pursuant thereto, shall, before he enters upon the duties of such office, take and subscribe the following oath, or affirmation: I, ……….., do swear, (or affirm, as the case may be,) that I will support the Constitution of the United States; and that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the State of Maryland, and support the Constitution and Laws thereof; and that I will, to the best of my skill and judgment, diligently and faithfully, without partiality or prejudice, execute the office of ………….., according to the Constitution and Laws of this State, (and, if a Governor, Senator, Member of the House of Delegates, or Judge,) that I will not directly or indirectly, receive the profits or any part of the profits of any other office during the term of my acting as ……………… (1977, ch. 681, ratified Nov. 7, 1978)
Maryland State Constitution

[Amendment VI]

In all criminal prosecutions, the accused shall enjoy the right to a speedy and public trial, by an impartial jury of the State and district wherein the crime shall have been committed, which district shall have been previously ascertained by law, and to be informed of the nature and cause of the accusation; to be confronted with the witnesses against him; to have compulsory process for obtaining witnesses in his favor, and to have the Assistance of Counsel for his defence.
Constitution of the United States

[Amendment XIV]
Section 1.
All persons born or naturalized in the United States, and subject to the jurisdiction thereof, are citizens of the United States and of the State wherein they reside. No State shall make or enforce any law which shall abridge the privileges or immunities of citizens of the United States; nor shall any State deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.
Constitution of the United States

As we can see from these excepts from the Constitutions for the State of Maryland and the United States Gary Willis had his rights violated by unlawful legislation.  The elected representatives that passed this legislation and signed it in to law have violated their oaths of office and as a result a man is dead, a victim of unlawful legislation.

Other states that have passed or are seeking to pass such legislation are violating the civil rights of the very people that elected them to office.  The people that they have sworn to serve.  Instead of serving the people that elected them they are lording over them and denying them of fundamental rights protected in many state constitutions and the United States Constitution.

Returning to Liberty

How many more deaths will result from these this egregious government over reach before we hold our elected representatives accountable to the oaths that they have taken.  The people that passed this unlawful legislation in Maryland should be held accountable for the death of Gary Willis and a wrongful death lawsuit should be filed on behalf of the family.  Additionally, Maryland Governor Larry Hogan, the members of the Maryland Legislature that voted to pass this legislation, and the judge that signed the order should be indicted for negligent homicide in the death of Gary Willis.

Their unlawful acts resulted in the death of an individual and they need to account for their crimes as if they had killed Gary Willis themselves.  Only when we start holding our elected representatives accountable for these violations of our rights will we start to gain back the liberties and freedoms that the founding fathers envisioned for this country.

The Fight for Liberty

The Liberty First Foundation is fighting to defend the Second Amendment and against other acts threating our rights to self-protection.  For our voice to be heard we need your help by sharing this in Social Media.  Like and Follow us on Facebook and Follow us on Twitter.  If you would like to help with the cause for liberty you can donate to us on our Ko-Fi site.

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