Seattle Police Are Taking Guns From Potentially Dangerous People (HBO)


In late May, the Seattle Police Department knocked in the door at Brian Smith’s house and did exactly what many Second Amendment advocates say is their worst fear: they came for his guns.

They were able to do that because of a relatively new Washington State law that allows the government to seize firearms from a person who has been deemed to be a danger to himself or others — even if he is otherwise legally able to own guns. It’s called an extreme risk protection order, or ERPO, and it’s quickly becoming one of the only pieces of gun-control legislation to make it through state legislatures. Earlier this month, Illinois became the 13th state to sign one into law.

In Washington, Second Amendment advocates have so far been relatively quiet about the law. The Seattle Police have seized guns from two dozen people under the legislation so far, and advocates say they are mostly watching to see how the process actually works.

Instead, the strongest notes of concern have come from an unlikely corner: the ACLU, which worries the law will disproportionally affect minorities and the poor, and mental health advocates, who say they worry the law could be used to seize guns from people who are seen as a danger only because of their mental conditions.

In the case of Brian Smith, he has been found to exhibit signs of with alcoholism and delusional disorder. But the police insist their case is based on more than just that. (Smith refutes the mental health evaluation, which came in the form of a court assessment during a separate criminal case.) They first came in contact with him after a neighbor reported that he was recklessly playing with a loaded handgun in his backyard while drinking, and say they have documented other incidents of unsafe behavior. The police eventually seized eight firearms from him.

VICE News was there when they went to court to argue that the ERPO should be extended for the full year, and visited with Smith in his home, to find out what it felt like to be on the receiving end of modern-day gun seizure.

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  1. VICE News

    WATCH Next on the rise of gun fashion at a concealed carry fashion show HERE:

  2. Austin Ballard

    This is wrong

  3. Race Hill Farms

    Bull the liberals are using these bogus red flag laws to disarm American citizens, in Florida in the first two months they confiscated over 450 citizens guns.

    These police officers are violating their oath of office to defending the United States Constitution and directly violating the second amendment.

  4. Jenna Castillo

    I love all the butt hurt gun-totting republicans on here. This man is clearly an alcoholic and displays dangerous behavior. There is NO REASON he should have a gun. As the police department showed he had the opportunity to argue his case. This is more than reasonable. Good on seattle!

  5. Robert Meyers

    Red Flag Laws are just a way to steal legally own guns from citizens. There is no due process and no compensation which are both not Constitutional.   The gun grabbers will just use this to grab gun from legal gun owners. All it take is someone that dislikes the gun owner to have the .gov steal the gun owners property.

  6. Stefano Ventimiglio

    You ever watched the movie minority report? You know the one about people being arrested for crimes that they haven’t committed yet. Any bullshit reason to take guns and these treasonous bastards try and use it. Disgusting. Smh

  7. scott kammer

    And this is why cops get gun down. Disarming some one because other people's paranoia.

  8. Devin Hinkson

    You have to admit guns take lives and save lives. It's like medicine, it saves a lot of lives but a lot of people overdose also. Sure guns were designed to kill, no one is arguing that they were only designed as decorations. It's obvious there meant to kill. But guess what, it's okay to kill someone who is evil and trying to kill you unjustly. Why? Because you have the right to life liberty and the pursuit of happiness and they are trying to take away that right. Sometimes really bad people don't care about your inalienable rights to life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness and they want to take those from you. Is it immoral or wrong to protect those rights? No. What about with a gun? If people cross that line there HAS to be something there to stop them. That's what guns do. They are the final line that says, stop! You can't take away my rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Our problem lies in that people have taken that tool originally designed for defense and use it to offend. They have taken what was designed to end evil to perpetrate and perpetuate it. The reason it's so hard for both sides of the debate to agree is that they fundamentally disagree on who is responsible for their life and happiness. If you want gun control you fundamentally believe it's the government's job to protect you. If you don't want gun control you believe it's your own job to protect yourself and the government can't always be there to protect you. If you take away medicine from everyone because some people misuse it, you end up hurting people who have done nothing wrong and just want to be healthy and happy. Same with guns. That's why people fight for their rights. Can't you see that you appear to be attacking the thing they guarantees at least a fighting chance to stay free by trying to take away effective guns? The good guys with guns don't want the bad guys to have them and commit crime and inflict Carnage either but guess what, you can't just take away the bad guys rights until you know they're actually bad by doing something to show they're bad. That's why they come up with the solution to have more guns. Maybe they trust people more than you realize and want everyone to realize that they can't get rid of evil so we need to rise up and prepare for it. You can't deprive everyone of their rights and freedom in the name of safety. So they call for more people to exercise their rights and freedoms to defend against evil. That's where they're coming from and see gun control as am attempt to undermine their ability to defend freedom.

  9. Michael Lee

    TIME FOR war on Democrats

  10. Michael Lee

    bow down to big GOVERNMENT

  11. brian lupinsky

    this is just the same thing the communism.

  12. Matthew E

    Out of any profession, police lead in domestic violence.

  13. jason bates

    it looks like the guy doing the interview is for gun control that's a little bies

  14. wolfgang mayer

    Here is on idea why are you not take the guns from all the criminals?

    Oh I forgot…. per this Liberal Anti American traitors they do not want to take guns away from criminals only from the Law abiding people.

    This is so on constitutional, it is time for We The People to stand up and get this Anti constitutional liberal terrorists out of office.

  15. Taylor !

    Drinks excessive amounts
    Drunk during mid day
    Shot guns in backyard, dangering neighbors
    Mentally ill
    Court ordered

    Yup sounds about right, how the hell could you get mad at this?

  16. WholesaleTurbos

    firstly im pro gun, but if I was his neighbor and he was drunk in the yard playing with guns, I wouldnt feel safe. If he was too drunk to drive then hes too drunk to play with a gun. This law looks like its infancy stage and doesnt look like it is implemented properly

  17. dkenable

    Welome to the police state

  18. Kristy Thomas

    If u go to the mental ward in a hospital they take ur rights away alot more than ur 2nd amendment, it happened to my son

  19. Kristy Thomas

    Fucc u officer chan. I live in Seattle, and haven't heard about this… Smh

  20. Michael Murphy

    Once the people are disarmed, the gulags can open their gates.

  21. Michael Johnston

    Glad I am 100% Sane and Happy and do NOT own ANY GUNS!! 🙂

  22. goofyfoot2001

    So they have harassed 4970 people out of 5000 is what this video is saying. But seriously, people will stop seeking mental health support from the medical establishment. Also I think if neighbors are responsible for the police harassing you and the judge rules in your favor, then the neighbors need to compensate you.

    Cop — "Let's see if they are mentally capable of owning a gun."
    God -"You have the right to own a gun."

  23. Patrick Murphy

    So if your a chief of police or a politician you can find out who doesn't vote for you whammo someone says "Hey, Mike You know, we've been noticing
    You've been having a lot of problems lately' 'You know, you should, maybe, get away
    And like, maybe you should talk about it, you'll feel a lot better'
    And I go, 'No, it's okay, you know I'll figure it out
    Just leave me alone I'll figure it out
    You know I'll just work it out myself'
    And they go, 'Well you know if you want to talk about it
    I'll be here you know and you'll probably feel a lot better
    If you talked about it, so why don't you talk about it'
    I go, 'No, I don't want to I'm okay, I'll figure it out myself'
    And they just keep bugging me and they just keep bugging me
    And it builds up inside
    You're gonna be institutionalized
    You'll come out brainwashed with bloodshot eyes
    You won't have any say
    They'll brainwash you until you see their way
    I'm not crazy, institution
    You're the one who's crazy, institution
    You're driving me crazy, institution

  24. Patrick Murphy

    Holy Shit!!

  25. Dis bitch empty ŸËËT

    This is unconstitutional you cannot strip someone of their rights without supreme court order


    That means according to the likes and dislikes 50 percent of 3.7 million people who watched this video disagree.


    2.2 thousand likes and 2.2 thousand dislikes. That's about as divided as it could possibly be.

  28. brian jackson

    So now they can use this excuse whenever they want to take our guns away ??. Despite it being unconstitutional ???

  29. charles hetrick

    How rational dose the “journalist” think the discourse should be when the government is taking away rights without due process?

  30. charles hetrick

    I love love love that the leftists have become the fascists they cry and moan about. That’s just solid work on their part.