WhiskeyWarrior556 falls victim to New York’s red flag laws
On Friday, police showed up to a young man’s workplace and tried to arrest him over social media posts reported to them by an old army buddy of the 28-year-old Afghanistan veteran. This man, known as Alex and popular on Instagram under the handle of WhiskeyWarrior556, slipped out of the back door, hurried home to check on his family where he found out police had already forced themselves into his home and confiscated his legal firearms after threatening his wife with calling child protective services to remove her newborn child. Alex then barricaded himself inside his own attic, unarmed. Law enforcement officers followed him, blocked off the road to all traffic and a seven-hour standoff began.
From WhiskeyWarrior556 Instagram story during standoff.
When it was over, the Putnam County Sheriffs, SWAT team and local police, armed with their own automatic rifles with 30 round magazines, arrested Alex for possessing a “high capacity magazine” for his legal AR-15. In New York, “high capacity magazines” are defined as any magazine that can hold more than seven rounds. Although a plastic box that holds 30 cartridges at one time are standard for this type of firearm, some lawmakers somewhere else believed they knew better and forced that decision upon this American war veteran.
Alex updated his followers on Instagram with video and commentary, also posting screenshots of his SMS conversation with police negotiators. Friends who were in contact with him also shared their conversations via social media. Alex told one friend that the man who called in the red flag law, lied to police by telling them that Alex suffered from PTSD. Putnam County Sheriffs reiterated this, claiming that this was a mental health issue, although offered no evidence of such an allegation. A statement from Police Chief Michael Cazzari of local Carmel Police made this statement:
"This is a person in crisis, having mental illness, having issues and he didn't need the people on social media telling him that his rights are being violated. He needed help. Medical help."
Because armored vehicles and total barricades are needed when someone just needs “medical help.” Perhaps the police understood that illegally confiscating someone’s property might lead to violence.
Putnam County armored SWAT vehicle at scene of standoff, Putnam Drive, Mahopac, NY at 8:30 p.m.
WhiskeyWarrior556 finally gave in when police threatened once again to take his infant daughter from his and his wife’s custody and according to police, he was peacefully detained. Though charged with owning the “high capacity magazine,” no charges have been filed as a result of the standoff.
What transpired on Saturday was exactly what advocates of red flag laws have asked for. A militarized police force, ignoring due process completely, confiscated the property and the civil rights of a U.S. citizen because of nothing more than the opinion of an associate.
If the current legal landscape allows for citizens to have their Second Amendment rights stripped from them without any legal opportunity to dissent, what are the next rights to be taken? After all, our rights to speech or religion, or even due process itself, have no obligation to be respected by the government without the right to bear arms.
Every gun law, including the ones you agree with, is an infringement on our constitutional rights.
Author Note: There is currently a donation site set up through the non-profit Firearm Policy Foundation at www.defendwhiskey.com to help Alex with legal aid. You can follow Taylor Day on Twitter and Facebook.