New law used to take gun from man who was suicidal

The Washington State Patrol recently used a new law to seize a firearm from a man who was allegedly contemplating suicide at Deception Pass Bridge.

Two years ago, voters approved Initiative 1491, which created a legal process that limits firearm access to people found to be a danger to themselves or others.

An extreme risk protection order allows law enforcement, family members and household members of a person in crisis to ask a judge to temporarily limit the person’s access to guns.

Last month, the Washington State Patrol filed one of the petitions in Island County Superior Court against a 23-year-old Anacortes man.

It was one of the first such petitions filed in the court. Judge Alan Hancock approved the petition.

On the evening of Aug. 21, a state trooper responded to a request to check for a suicidal subject at Deception Pass Bridge.

The man had told mental health professionals that he would shoot himself and fall from the bridge if he had a gun, according to the report by the state trooper.

The trooper located the man on the center span of the bridge. As the trooper was pulling the man away from the rail, he saw that he had a handgun in his right front pants pocket.

The loaded .45-caliber gun was registered to the man.

The petition states that the man previously attempted suicide in several different ways.

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Photo by The Everett Herald / 2016
                                Todd Morrow
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