Oak Harbor police use civil process to seize guns from mentally troubled man

Oak Harbor police recently used a civil legal process to temporarily take away guns from a man who was going through a mental health crisis.

Voters passed an initiative in 2016 to create the extreme risk protection order, which limits access to firearms for people who are deemed to be a danger to themselves or others.

The bill to expand the protection orders to juveniles recently passed the state Senate.

In the Oak Harbor case, police responded to a report of a 29-year-old man who was displaying erratic and frightening behavior.

The man’s wife had fled the house because she was in fear for her life, according to court documents.

When police arrived at the house, the man was face down on the floor.

The man was alternating between being calm and expressing anger for no apparent reason, telling the police officers that he was the messiah.

During one of his outbursts, the man said he was not suicidal but homicidal and was going to “take care” of everyone that ever harmed his family, court documents state.

The man was so erratic, court documents say, that he was transported in four-point restraints to a hospital for a mental health evaluation.

The man had two handguns and a concealed weapons permit. The man’s wife surrendered the guns.

A judge signed a temporary extreme risk protection order, which means the man is prohibited from purchasing, possessing or receiving firearms until the order expires.

The police are also asking for a regular, one-year extreme risk protection order; a judge in Island County Superior Court will consider the petition March 12.

Extreme risk protection orders are pretty unusual in Island County.

In a case last Sep-tember, the Washington State Patrol petitioned for one after a trooper confronted a suicidal man on Deception Pass Bridge; the man was armed with a gun and had previously attempted suicide.

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