Firearms belonging to the suspected leader of a neo-Nazi group believed to be preparing for a "racial war" were seized under the Washington state's "red flag" law, according to court documents.
Authorities removed five rifles, three handguns and other gun components from 24-year-old Kaleb James Cole, under state law that allows authorities to take weapons from people who consider themselves at risk or one to another year, authorities said. Cole has not been charged with any crime.
Seattle City Attorney Pete Holmes believes that the seizure, which court documents say happened on September 26, could have prevented the slaughter.
"This is a man filled with hatred, but unfortunately a man who has really disturbing weapons numbers," Holmes said.
Attempts to contact Cole at phone numbers listed in public records that may be associated with him failed on Friday night. It was not immediately clear if there was a lawyer.
Prosecutors filed a lawsuit against Cole, citing the state's red flag law and asking for an "order for protection against extreme risk." Seventeen states and Washington, D.C., have laws that allow family or police members to remove weapons from people who may be dangerous, according to Pew Charitable Trusts.
The National Rifle Association opposes some existing laws on the defense order, arguing that they deprive gun owners of
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Cole is a self-described member of the Atomwafen Division – which the Poverty Law Center says is a terrorist national-socialist organization that believes in the use of violence for "apocalyptic, racial cleansing" – and is thought to be the leader of the head of Washington State, Seattle police said in a petition for a court order.
Police believe Cole was involved in the recent training and recruiting of firearms in "hate camps", which officials say he helped organize.
"He appears to have gone from promoting hatred to taking proactive steps or preparing for the impending 'race war'," Seattle police said in the petition.
Cole's cellphone photos included pictures of Cole's mobile
Cole was stopped when he arrived at the Hare International Airport in Chicago in December 2018 after a 25-day trip to Eastern Europe and an official persons then noted that he was identified in Article k the head of the Atomwafen head of state in Washington, Customs and Border Protection, said in documents attached to the petition.
Cole claimed to have recognized his membership, that is, and CBP wrote in its report that "
But this report also says that Cole told officials that he discouraged members from doing something illegal and that his group was not interested in overthrowing the US government. He said he had an AK-47 and several protection pistols.
Cole was deported from Canada earlier this year because officers there believe he is a member of an organization that can deal with terrorism, Seattle police said in a petition for a defense order extreme risk.
King County Prosecutor Dan Sutherberg told the NBC KING affiliate in Seattle that in addition to weapons seized, including what he describes as ammunition, components and tools,
Sutherberg said much of the material , presented to the judge, are already online information and linked to Cole's statements.
"It was not top secret. We had to tell the judge. It was just, 'Here's what this person does, he leads other people into practicing and informing a potentially violent cell that would act according to their white supreme views.' , "Saterberg told the station.
"So that was enough to convince this judge that, at least temporarily, let's take our time. Let's get those guns out and see what we have here," he said. "This is not a crime, he is not charged, he is not in prison. This is a way to slow things down."
The issue of red flag laws, such as the one in Washington under which Cole's weapons were seized, was raised in Congress after mass shootings this year in Gilroy, California, El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio.
The NRA Institute for Legislative Action has disproved media reports suggesting that the group supports red flag laws as they exist. in some countries, she said she opposed such laws because they did not protect due process rights.
"We will only support the ERPO process, which strongly protects both the Second Amendment rights and the due process rights," the NRA said in January.