Guns turned over to police after Extreme Risk Protection Order served in West Seattle

The photo and report are from SPD Blotter:

Family members of a 91-year-old man with dementia contacted police last month expressing concern about him after he began threatening to shoot anyone that came to his home. The family members knew he had firearms in the house and were very concerned that he might harm himself or others.

A Crisis Response Unit officer took the lead and petitioned the King County Superior Court for an Extreme Risk Protection Order (ERPO). The order was granted. The order was served last week and the man voluntarily turned over eighteen firearms from inside his West Seattle home. The firearms were submitted into evidence for safekeeping.

For more information about Extreme Risk Protection Orders, go to

Back in January, ERPOs were explained at a meeting of the West Seattle Crime Prevention Council.

50 Replies to "Guns turned over to police after Extreme Risk Protection Order served in West Seattle"

  • Lisa September 30, 2019 (12:43 pm)

    Kudos to the family for reporting this but how the feck is one person allowed to accumulate so many weapons? I don’t know how even the most staunch NRA supporter could think this is OK.

    • Bob Samuelson September 30, 2019 (2:07 pm)

      Staunch NRA supporter here. I think it is OK. Did you have a limit that you would like to propose?

      • Lisa September 30, 2019 (4:34 pm)

        @Bob Samuelson – zero@blinkyjoe – yeah, “allowed.” Why on earth would someone need so many guns? Especially when they are threatening to shoot anyone on their property. Don’t sell guns to mentally unstable people. Period!

        • OK Then September 30, 2019 (5:37 pm)

          LOL Stop fear mongering – Nobody is selling guns to a 91 year old with dementia! You can see those are mostly older guns that were purchased YEARS ago. It’s a shame the family wasn’t more involved before things got this far. If he actually had debilitating dementia they could have sat down with grandpa before he lost the ability to reason. My own father is a USMC vet and both a shooting enthusiast and collector.  Once he started showing signs of dementia in his 80’s we talked with him about our concerns for his and everyone else’s safety. In the end we made an agreement to move his collection to my brothers safe and still take him to the range so he can still practice his sport while we are there to supervise. 

    • Bradley September 30, 2019 (2:20 pm)

      18 weapons is nothing. That’s not a large collection for many gun owners. My safe has many more than that. It’s no one’s business how many guns someone owns. As one gets older they accumulate more and more firearms and this man has been around for nearly a century. Also, those guns are very old and were all probably purchased many decades ago. It’s always been illegal for anyone diagnosed with severe mental illness (such as dementia) to posses firearms. If the family knew he has dementia, they should have seized his weapons BEFORE he made threats, not after.

    • Blinkyjoe September 30, 2019 (2:33 pm)

      Lisa, he is 91. A collecter, perhaps? Odd use of the word “allowed”.

    • wscommuter September 30, 2019 (2:42 pm)

      You’re kidding, right?  Gun collecting is a passion for many folks (and in fairness, most of them are sane, responsible gun owners).  Those staunch NRA supporters you mention see nothing amiss here.    

    • Eric1 September 30, 2019 (3:09 pm)

      Wow.  You are obviously just anti-gun.  None of those guns are even evil black guns.  I see lots of older hunting and plinking guns.  Lots of 22’s and shotguns, not many high powered rifles.  The handguns are classics including a single action revolver: Very modern for the 19th century.  Just like the double barrelled shotgun, very “cowboy”: normally seen on stagecoaches. Hence  the term “riding shotgun”. I agree these are dangerous for sure in the hands of a 91 YO with some issues.  However, I think that over a lifetime, someone could easily have a collection of guns this size. The family made the right call. This is how the laws should work and I see no problem with removing the guns at this point.  

    • Olafur September 30, 2019 (3:44 pm)

      Wow, Lisa.  I can see from the photo of the guns that he was truly only a small-scale collector over a period of many, many years and not someone stockpiling assault rifles and grenade launchers for nefarious purposes.  I hope that, when you someday begin to have issues with dementia, no one writes inflammatory comments in the West Seattle Blog about how you were allowed to amass a dangerous collection of eight steak knives, a pair of knitting needles and craft scissors.  Dial it back a notch, please.

      • Lisa September 30, 2019 (4:35 pm)

        @olafur – good thing I’m a vegetarian. I won’t be amassing any steak knives – LOL

    • Alki resident September 30, 2019 (4:41 pm)

      Lisa how many fingernail polish’s are you allowed 🤦‍♀️?

      • Mariem September 30, 2019 (10:05 pm)

        Lisa has a right to her opinion.

        • LGBT@theDub October 1, 2019 (7:33 pm)

          Mariem- And Alki Resident and others have a right to point out that it’s not based on rational thought.  People collect guns, and have done so since they were invented.  There’s nothing wrong/illegal/immoral about having a gun collection.  Her view that there is, is obviously based on a bias against guns.  I also don’t like her attitude that the government should choose to allow or disallow his collection.  Owning guns is a right enshrined in our Constitution, and unless she thinks the government should choose other rights to “allow” people to exercise (free speech anyone?), I see a problem here.  Perhaps the criticism she has received can be used as a point of reflection on whether her opinion is based on reason or emotion.    

    • Mike September 30, 2019 (5:37 pm)

      Looks normal to me.  I grew up in a family of hunters though.  I don’t anymore and don’t believe in guns for protection, so I don’t have any at my house.  Anyone that doesn’t keep firearms unloaded, locked in a fireproof gun safe with ammo far away locked elsewhere are just asking for trouble.  The family of this older man did the right thing.

  • Kristen September 30, 2019 (12:46 pm)

    What a heartbreaking situation. Credit to the family for speaking up and reaching out to authorities in what must have been a very difficult decision. And thanks to SPD for taking the issue seriously and hopefully creating a safer situation for everyone. 

  • Beto September 30, 2019 (1:17 pm)

    That’s exactly what we need, a 91 year old man with dementia owning all those weapons.  What can go wrong???

  • Lts September 30, 2019 (2:09 pm)

    OMG people it’s not the how or why but GOOD JOB to the family for informing the SPD about their situation and concerns.  

  • Heartless? September 30, 2019 (2:16 pm)

    I hate to tell you all, but that is not an unusual amount of guns for an aficionado to own. Especially not for some guy who’s been collecting for probably 70 years.

  • NW Mama September 30, 2019 (2:26 pm)

    Thank you to his family members!  Frightful to think of what could have happened otherwise with all of that!

  • enum September 30, 2019 (2:27 pm)

    What happens to those after the police have them checked into evidence?  Do they get returned to the family or sold at auction like weapons taken during a normal seizure are?  The guy had some nice pieces…

  • Honorable September 30, 2019 (2:39 pm)

    To Lisa and Beto:None of those hand guns, shot guns or rifles are new.  Many are very old (older than 50 years) and all seem well taken care of.  At least three are shotguns used by most for bird hunting.You would have to ask his family  but at >91 he lived through the great depression something you’ve never experienced; also there is a remote chance that this man was in military service at the end of World War II; Guess what, soldiers shoot guns!   If he were a hunter, he might have the double barrel shotgun and pump shot gun for hunting  birds in eastern Washington.  Back in the 40s and 50s many people hunted to supplement their food supply.   There are sever different calibers represented in the rifles.  some would be appropriate for big game, some for small game.  Kristen made a very valid comment.  The family did the appropriate thing, and until he made that threat,  there was no reason to question what guns he owned, nor why.  Both of you lack compassion and perspective.  Try talking to some OLD folks and learn about their young lives.

  • James Clark September 30, 2019 (2:44 pm)

    Looks like a lot of smaller caliber vintage guns. Hardly something someone would use for a mass shooting. Kinda weird the family couldn’t have taken care of it.

    • Olafur September 30, 2019 (3:53 pm)

      James, unfortunately, it’s not as easy as it sounds.  I know from sad experience that convincing an elderly family member to give up a car they can no longer safely operate or a home they can no longer safely occupy is not easy at all.  These are very difficult and emotional changes for an elderly (or not so elderly, in some cases) person to accept.  Sometimes the only choice is to do what this family did and legally take away the choice, but I’m sure they lovingly tried other measures and are saddened that they had to resort to this solution.

      • LGBT@theDub September 30, 2019 (4:17 pm)

        Olafur- That’s an assumption; (assuming he actually made any threats) they may just as likely heard him say this on their once-a-year birthday call to him and gone straight to the cops, or possibly done this out of spite.  Since he had no voice speaking for him at the hearing, we have no idea what his side is. Frankly, sending the cops is never something you should do to someone you care about.  Another state has already had someone killed during the service of an ERPO because he didn’t obey the police, and the news is full of stories of relatives of mentally ill people asking the cops for help only to see them shot by the police supposedly there to help them.

        • Me September 30, 2019 (8:23 pm)

          LGBT@thedub….when was the last time you tried to intervene with a parent who had dementia or other diseases/impairments that significantly impacted their mental and physical abilities? If you were a child of one, you would recognize the conundrum this family was in. I highly doubt, with the political power and the laws on the books and in practice police just went in to take out these weapons based on a few family members’ and my siblings worked tirelessly to get the state to retest my Dad’s driving after it was clear MS was negatively impeding his physical ability to drive and his mental awareness around his physical limits.spew your legalese all you want but police don’t just walk in and take guns.For those of us caring for parents/family members with disabilities AND advocating for them for rights, services and struggling to manage the balance of their independence and protection of the safety of others,  reading your assumptions about our intentions is infuriating. 

  • valvashon September 30, 2019 (3:36 pm)

    James- He was threatening to shoot anybody who came to his home.  That’s why the family couldn’t take care of it.  You want to be the one to go in while he’s sleeping and try to sneak those out?
    Bob- 0.  0 is the number of guns that you should have at your house.  Go hunting?  We’ll keep them in a secure locker in a state run armory for you.  You can check them out a couple of times a year for a week or two.  Handguns?  We’ll melt them down into playground equipment and bike racks for you.

    • JustWow September 30, 2019 (4:30 pm)

      You might be comfortable with no means of protecting yourself except dialing 911 and waiting for a police response, but as a lesbian I appreciate being able to exercise my 2nd amendment right to protect myself and my wife. It’s sentiments and comments like yours –  “we’re gonna take ALL the guns” – that’s going to end up getting the moron in the White House re-elected. 

    • Jethro Marx September 30, 2019 (7:45 pm)

      Haha, Val. State-run anything is pretty inept, but I suppose you can dream. In the meantime, GIVE US BACK OUR GEESE! Also, why does everyone get so worked up seeing a pile of guns that have likely never harmed a human? More people are killed by cars in West Seattle than guns, and when a gun is used, it is very rarely in the hands of a nonagenarian. Your efforts (or complaining) would be better aimed at asking for safer crosswalks, or perhaps encouraging people to wear personal flotation devices while engaged in water sports.

    • Bradley September 30, 2019 (10:20 pm)

      “0 is the number of guns that you should have at your house”?????? Who says? My family has several houses full of guns here in West Seattle. Fortunately, Americans have the Second Amendment to protect them from people like you. Sheesh…..

  • LGBT@theDub September 30, 2019 (3:57 pm)

    Here’s the thing about ERPOs: He may have threatened to shoot anyone that “came to his home,” or he may have said he doesn’t answer the door for anyone who knocks and anyone that tried to force their way in instead of leaving would get shot (totally legal use of force), or he may have just told his estranged son that he was out of the will and this was an act of revenge.  Since the hearing for these things is done ex parte, neither the court nor we know his side of the story.  As these are supposedly done in urgent circumstances, I doubt the court even verified that he was being treated for dementia.  All of this could have been triggered by a disgruntled relative’s claims alone, with little to no due diligence done by the court before dispatching police.The complaint forms are available online and I’ve read them.  The tone is that the complainant is a presumptive victim; lots of words dedicated to how the court can reach you after they’ve taken care of the “bad man” and not one single word spent on warning the complainant of ANY consequences whatsoever for false reporting.  This reeks of abuse and will undoubtedly turn into the “swatting” strategy for friends and family who have had a falling out.  To those who say, “good job, he might have hurt someone”: You can justify almost anything under an ends justify the means mentality, but this is not how a democracy works.  If you support this, you desperately need to re-take your high school civic class.

    • Lagartija Nick October 1, 2019 (9:25 am)

      What a load of hogwash. The article clearly stated family MEMBERS (plural = more than one) and made no mention of “an estranged son” bent on revenge for being left out of the will. That’s YOUR fevered dream. Your suggestion that we should listen to, and take the word of, a 90 yr old with dementia over his cognizant family MEMBERS is as delusional as your barely coherent take on the ERPO process itself.

      • WSB October 1, 2019 (11:29 am)

        To be a little more specific – the court documents are public record and as mentioned above we eventually found them some hours after publishing this – the documents say two family members of the 91-year-old man who are involved in his caretaking told police he had threatened to shoot them if they “came back around” and they didn’t feel safe in making necessary caretaking visits knowing he had what the original petition describes as an “unknown” number of firearms.

    • Anony Moose October 1, 2019 (11:01 pm)

      Everyone here should be aware that LGBT@THEDUB is posting in bad faith. Courtesy of Reddit:Pretty high percentage of t***s posting on that blog. I posted a couple of anti-ERPO comments to balance things out. I threw “LGBT” in my username to put them in the quandary of having to balance shouting me down with possibly damaging their “woke” credentials.

  • Vanessa September 30, 2019 (4:41 pm)

    My Demented father opened his front door many a time with a shotgun in the nose of the gasman, the police man, the paper carrier, you name it……It’s a minor miracle, he never shot someone.  He did shoot up the kitchen and lots of places in the garage, when he hallucinated burglars…..I would hate to have been one of those service people. Or his neighbors.  This was many years ago, in another State. Everybody knew he was suffering with Dementia, and there was nothing anyone could do. None of us.  

  • uncle loco September 30, 2019 (6:40 pm)

    I can’t believe this story was even published other than to show the ‘look at all of the scary guns we confiscated’ photo. Heard a report about it on the radio too.

    • NBD September 30, 2019 (8:50 pm)

      It contains a link to learn about Extreme Risk Protection Orders, which I’d never heard of before.  Most crime reports are just to keep people aware of what’s happening in neighborhoods.  I didn’t see it presented here or anywhere else as fearmongering.  And I learned something about a protection option I didn’t previously know existed (that I thankfully don’t need, but still).  Side note for those discussing amassing this many guns: I own a good number of firearms purely because, by virtue of being the most responsible person in my family, I am the one who keeps inheriting the family guns when someone dies.  They’re all in a safe, unloaded (half aren’t even operational I don’t think), and i don’t do anything with them, except hoard them just like the other family heirlooms we get stuck with.  Guns have historically been a part of American culture so they do get passed down and around in families just like the china and that weird rolltop desk and other family crap no one will let you sell.

  • TJ September 30, 2019 (7:09 pm)

    As others others have stated, that really isn’t a big collection for a 91 year old gun collector. I have 9 guns (2 hunting rifles, 2 shotguns, 2 AR’s, and 3 hand guns), and have a few friends that have more than that. And the comments about limiting how many someone “can” have (including “zero”) isn’t helping the gun debate 

  • Brian Hughes October 1, 2019 (5:23 am)

    There are gun issues to worry about, but this isn’t one of them. In this case, things worked out the way they are supposed to. 

  • anonyme October 1, 2019 (7:37 am)

    Right on, VV.

  • Um, No! October 1, 2019 (7:53 am)

    Politically influenced fear mongering article.   What other purposed would this serve?  OMG!  Looks at all the evil guns.   Reality – non story. 

    • WSB October 1, 2019 (8:19 am)

      Not newsworthy that police show up at somebody’s door and tell them to hand over their weapons? You are accusing SPD of political influence and fear mongering? They published it (as linked). I chose to republish it (as we do with most SPD Blotter posts that involve West Seattle cases we haven’t already reported), as did other news outlets. It’s an opportunity to remind people about the ERPO’s existence, for one (whether you believe this type of order should exist or not, and if you don’t, then advocate for it to be repealed – the ERPO is a state law ).

      I have since last night BTW found the case online. What the SPD Blotter item didn’t get into is that as per the procedure for these, a temporary order has been issued and will be followed by a hearing (next week) on whether to finalize it. Court records show this is the 17th ERPO sought in Seattle since the one we reported on earlier this year (noted upthread). I’ll have to download them all to find out if any others were in West Seattle. – TR

      • Um, No! October 1, 2019 (10:38 am)

        Not accusing SPD. 

        • WSB October 1, 2019 (11:21 am)

          Well, if they didn’t blotterize it, nobody would have known about it. As for “influence,” no, sorry, no one asked us to republish it, suggested we republish it, etc. I saw it (SPD Blotter is relatively low volume, so sometimes there’s not even one WS-related post per week) and thought it newsworthy. We don’t routinely browse court files for ERPOs, though perhaps we should.

          • newnative October 1, 2019 (11:53 am)

            I tried to comment yesterday but my phone comments don’t appear. The only people politicizing this are the commentators here arguing over how many guns a citizen should have. The story itself is simply news, a combination of answering what neighbors/passersby might have seen and educating us on the ERPO. 

  • Another Guy in WS October 1, 2019 (8:41 am)

    The family did the right thing here. This is a smal,l sad story that has more to do with the ravages of dementia than firearms themselves.  Obviously the man lived into his 90’s without doing anyone harm with his gun collection. As others have pointed out, these are not particularly “scary” guns but old hunting, plinking and homeowner protection guns that anybody might have (White, Black, Asian, Indigenous, LGBTQ, young and old- anybody). Dementia steals judgement and decision making skills as well as possibly bringing with it, paranoia- possibly ramped up from isolation and watching too much FOX news. Guns, even these guns pictured, are not a good mix with that diminished mental state. Automobiles are also a bad fit; as others here have mentioned, getting the car keys from a person suffering from dementia is also very difficult. If it was a lifelong hobby it would have been tough. If he had been a model railroader instead there would have not been the possibility that he would shoot the the mailman in his driveway with one of his trains. The family did the right thing. I own guns. I have no problem with my neighbors owning guns, but we must admit  that we are all susceptible to mental health crisis. This is the devil’s bargain: you have the right to own a gun, but  someday it might be you who can no longer be trusted to make the decisions.

  • J October 1, 2019 (10:26 am)

    How does a person with dementia, and some paranoia, voluntarily turn over his weapons? Do the police wait out side for the person with dementia to remember where he last put each and every gun? What would make us think this is the whole hoard, or even a majority of them? Is there some sort of search to help a dementia patient “remember” them all? 

  • Scubafrog October 1, 2019 (5:30 pm)

    Lest an American own guns allowed under the 2nd Amendment in our Country’s Constitution (“b… b…but I don’t want him to own THAT many, he better follow MY rules, not that confounded Constitution’s!”).  Yes, the far left can go absolutely, unreasonably berserk (and as we’ve seen under trump, the far right’s obliterated the GOP).   What a sad political climate in America today.  Both sides are losing credibility at record pace.90 years of law-abiding gun ownership.  Dementia’s awful, I wish this man and his family the best.There look to be some nice classics in the collection.  I hope the family can keep them or sell them for $ toward his healthcare.

  • John October 2, 2019 (11:26 am)

    I hope his family ends the sad history of fetishizing these weapons.  At some point regardless of our Constitution, we as a country need to address the epidemic deaths by guns.  Suicide by guns is the most successful long term solution to a short term problem.  Not even responsible gun owners can prevent the loss of life from firearms. If I prayed, it would be that this family melts down all those machines created  for killing.  They are anachronistic in our society, as we continue to be the laughing stock of the civilized non gun crazed majority of the world.   No one outside the USA can understand the mass slaughter of humans in our private sector by their dearly loved guns.

  • savoirfaire October 2, 2019 (12:01 pm)

    Absolutely disagree with the characterization of this article as “fearmongering” and politically-motivated. The West Seattle Blog is one of the most even-handed Seattle publications I can think of in what it publishes and how it presents it.

Sorry, comment time is over.