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"Red Flag" Protective Order


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At 5:17 in the morning on Nov. 5th, police in Anne Arundel County, Maryland pounded on the front door of 61 year old, Gary J. Willis's home. He didn't know who it was. He gathered his robe about him went to the door, with a gun in his hand. When he saw it was the police, he put the gun down.


The police, for their part, didn't know exactly why they were there either. Both 5-year veterans, they only knew that they had come to confiscate Gary Willis's firearms under Maryland's new "Red Flag" laws. These laws allow family members, friends, and even complete strangers to turn gun owners in to police to have their firearms confiscated. It is then up to the gun owner to prove that he or she deserves the right to keep and bear arms. It completely turns the justice system on its head. Under these laws, gun owners are presumed guilty until proven innocent.

No crime had been committed. In this case, there had been a family dispute, and a member of the extended family had called police and asked them to suspend Gary Willis’ gun rights, and the local police department had to act.


This is dangerous duty, the police officers are there to take away someone's firearms... they have to knowingly walk into a situation where they know the subject is armed.

Gary Willis did not know why the police were trying to confiscate his guns. The police didn't know exactly why they were there to confiscate his guns. Willis became irate and picked up his gun. An officer grabbed for it, and a tug-of-war over a loaded firearm ensued. A shot was fired from the gun. Nobody was hit. The other officer returned fire, instantly killing Gary J. Willis, a 61 year old who hadn't been accused of any crime.


Gary Willis lived in the home with other family members, including his niece Michele Willis. She said one of her aunts requested the protective order to temporarily remove Willis’ guns.

Michele Willis said she had grown up in the house and had been there Sunday night to move out her son, who had been helping to care for her grandmother.

Her uncle, Gary Willis, lived in an apartment above the garage; she said other family members, including her grandmother, another uncle, two aunts and Gary Willis’ girlfriend were also at the home Sunday night.

She said her uncle “likes to speak his mind,” but she described him as harmless.

“I’m just dumbfounded right now,” she said. “My uncle wouldn’t hurt anybody.”


The full report hasn’t been released yet, but we know that this man was not being charged with a crime and was not being involuntarily institutionalized. Police showed up to his home at 5 o’clock in the morning to confiscate his guns based on nothing but hearsay. One of his extended family members decided to turn him in to police. Gary’s niece said the red flag order stemmed from a family argument. It was just “family being family,” in her words.


This death was not the fault of the police officers, they were placed into a hazardous situation. It is the fault of politicians who enact laws to "do something, anything, to appease the voters." Very often these "Red Flag" laws put police and civilians into dangerous circumstances, needlessly.


There was no charge or indication of domestic violence. Willis had not threatened anyone. An extended family member was angry and wanted to do something to "get even".


61 year old Gary Willis is dead.


On October 1st when this "Red Flag" law went into effect, Michael Solomon, a 16-year-old activist and co-president of Montgomery County, Maryland Students for Change, told reporters, “I must say that watching these new regulations go into effect today is extremely inspiring.”

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How many more times will this happen before we wake up, unite and fix these bad laws?

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1 minute ago, The Original Lumpy Gritz said:

Sorry to say-he picked up the gun, the officer did what they had to do to protect his fellow officer.

If he had complied-He would be able to tell his story in court.



I agree with you, the police did nothing wrong. But this was a senseless loss of life which could have been prevented.  These laws are written in the heat of the moment and not well reasoned out. As was noted in the article someone wanted to get even for a dispute which put both the police and the victim in a seriously bad situation that could have been avoided.  What if the law required that they 1st investigate why the claim is being made and had to follow due process?

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37 minutes ago, Charlie T Waite said:

  What if the law required that they 1st investigate why the claim is being made and had to follow due process?

 Not what 'they' want, when it comes to gun possession.

More likly 'due-process' would be followed if he had a bag of pot in his possession.......:rolleyes:



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