Law enforcement authorities in Seattle are crediting a new “red flag” gun law for preventing a potential shooting incident.
According to a report from the Washington Examiner, authorities used the new law to confiscate the weapons of a 24-year-old in their city that they determined was “taking active steps” to carry out a violent act with a firearm.
Per the report:
Kaleb James Cole, 24, has not been charged with a crime, but authorities were able to use a state law that allows the government to respond to petitions and seize the guns of people deemed a risk to themselves or others.
Law enforcement removed five rifles, three pistols, and other gun parts from Cole for at least one year.
In the lawsuit filed by prosecutors invoking the red flag law and seeking an extreme risk protection order, authorities said the Cole is a member of the Atomwaffen Division and is believed to be the head of the Washington state chapter. The Atomwaffen Division is a Nazi group the promotes anti-Semitism, racial cleansing, and violence.
Local police said they believed Cole “has gone from espousing hate to now taking active steps or preparation for an impending ‘race war.'”
Dan Nolte of the Seattle City Attorney’s Office clarified: “Our regional firearms enforcement unit likely prevented a massacre by someone committed to advancing a race war. Washington state residents should sleep a little easier knowing they have a team empowered to enforce firearm surrender court orders from those considered to be an extreme risk to public safety.”
In the petition for the ERPO, Seattle Police described Cole as “a self-admitted member of the Atomwaffen Division,” which they call a neo-Nazi group, and alleged that Cole had recently participated in “training and recruitment efforts at organized hate camps'” in Washington state.
Police also cited an interview report filed by United States Customs and Border Protection with Cole as evidence of his views after he was detained by the agency following a trip through Eastern Europe in June.
In the report, CBP said Cole was in possession of an Atomwaffen Division flag and on his cellphone had a photo of people displaying Nazi salutes while holding the flag, and a photo of two people wearing bandanas over their faces standing in front of Auschwitz concentration camp.
The petition also referenced his lifetime ban from Canada as a result of his membership in “an organization that may engage in terrorism.” Exhibit One attached to the petition includes an extensively reported article from ProPublica on Atomwaffen Division’s ideology and beliefs, and names Cole.