Maryland’s Red Flag Law Gets Elderly Man Killed by Police in His Home

When accusations trump the nation’s Bill of Rights, people die. No better example exists than the Nov. 5 shooting death by police of an elderly Maryland man in his own home.

Early that Monday morning, one of two Anne Arundel County Police officers slaughtered 61-year-old Gary Willis inside his home while attempting to serve a protective order to remove firearms from his home under Maryland’s “red flag” law. Maryland’s red flag law enables an anonymous source to accuse people of potentially being a danger to themselves or others, and the state will remove any firearms from the home.

The two police officers attempted to serve the protective order on Willis at 5:17 a.m. in Ferndale, Maryland. Willis, quite possibly fast asleep just prior to the police officers’ arrival, understandably answered his door with a firearm in his hand. Maryland and the Baltimore area in particular have experienced high rates of violent crimes which could also explain why he answered the door with his gun on him.

Police say Willis put down the gun when he saw it was cops at the door, but became angry and picked it up upon learning the reason for the officers’ visit. The officers say a struggle ensued, during which a shot was fired but hit no one. Police then shot and killed Willis.

The reason for the state issuing the protective order and sending armed police to Willis’ home in the early hours of the morning to seize his firearms is unknown. The Baltimore Sun reported Willis’ niece, Michelle Willis, said one of her aunt’s requested the protective order, but said her uncle was harmless and not a threat to anyone, including himself. She did not say why her aunt requested the protective order.

Barring a court order, Maryland law, does not enable others to view requests for protective orders. Such secrecy virtually assures anyone with a grudge against a lawful gun owner in Maryland can make a false accusation that results in the loss of a lawful gun owners Second Amendment right to bear arms.

Maryland’s red flag law is a classic example of knee-jerk legislation enacted out of emotionally charged reasoning with little thought given to how it will impact the innocent. Maryland is one of eight states to enact red flag laws in the wake of the Stoneman Douglas High School shootings in Parkland, Fla. Thirteen states now have red flag laws in place, with several more considering enacting them.

While the red flag laws are intended to prevent senseless murders and deaths, studies show that is not the case. Law and Contemporary Problems journal in 2016 published a study indicating Connecticut’s red flag law enabled 762 removals of firearms, from 1999 to 2013. Those removals potentially averted one suicide for every 10 to 11 gun seizures, the journal reported. While the Connecticut study suggests a small percentage of suicides might be stopped by removing firearms from some homes, thus far, there is no indication to suggest the law has stopped a single murderous act.

If the intent of most red flag laws is to prevent murders and mass shootings, the evidence does not support that conclusion. The evidence only shows such laws might stop a very small percentage of U.S. citizens from using firearms to take their own lives. The evidence does not indicate whether those who might have been stopped from committing suicide might opt for other measures.

Among liberals, the notion seems to be that assisted suicide is absolutely okay. So long as a medical doctor is the one to end your life, you made a wise decision, and no one can question the morality or sanity of ending your life. Choose to do so privately and with one of the fastest and most efficient means possible, though, and you suddenly are a danger to yourself and others, according to the liberal mindset.

Whether Willis truly was a danger to himself or others society never will know. Certainly, he was denied due process. Odds are, an elderly man answering a knock on his door with a pistol in his hand just prior to sunup in a city renowned for its recent extreme violence and wanton destruction of private property is a man who wants to continue living. People do not arm themselves for protection if they plan on dying.

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42 Responses

  1. Sounds like murder to me. Now go do a mental evaluation on the woman that called him in and the cops that shot him.
    The left has managed to destroy the oath to serve and protect and changed the police into mercenaries for themselves.
    2nd amendment to the end.
    If cops struggle with sm groups of antifa and BLM, they have no idea what millions of legal gun owners are capable of.

    1. Nick Strickland, actually, it sounds like self defense on the part of the officers serving an order against a man who became enraged and tried to murder them.

      1. The man had committed no crime, and was in his own home in the wee hours. Murder by cops, charge the aunt with being an accomplice.
        And I am very pro-cop.

      2. That was the single most idiotic thing I’ve ever had the misfortune to read. The man was killed because he heard a pounding on his door at 0530. Why wouldn’t he have a weapon handy, especially in light of the increased home invasions by criminals. The relative, obviously a liberal, should be charged along with the “police” who murdered this man.

    2. In fact, someone committed the PERFECT MURDER! They filed a covert report, the victim had no idea, the police did the ‘dirty work’, and they are lily-pure, and scott-free! SO SLICK! File this under “How to eliminate an old fart enemy PERMANENTLY with no repercussions”! SO glad I don’t reside in that God-forsaken Maryland any more! Who knows which person I so pissed off he/she would want to eliminate me! Note to OTHER Marylanders….GET OUT NOW, while you are still alive! This state is WORSE than Chicago!

  2. The goal should be to take down at least one Gestapo goon with you. If that happens enough the Democommies may come to realize that there are still a few Americans left who will adhere to the Constitution and our unalienable rights which it is intended to secure.

    1. So, you’re okay with murdering policeman who were serving a lawful warrant?
      You would fit right in with Black Lives Matter.

    2. So a police officer serving a legal order is a GESTAPO GOON who should be murdered?

  3. Come try and take my gun and I will not be the only one dead………..

    1. But you will be dead. Haven’t you heard the saying, “Better tried by 12 than carried by 6”? Get a junk yard dog lawyer and sue the hell out of a city.

  4. Those in charge (government officials) in Maryland should be charged with the murder of this man along with the aunt who called this in.I hope like h3ll this woman never sleeps another night for the rest of her life.This right here is a perfect example of why the sane people need to stand up and demand action to rescind this law.Wasn’t Maryland part of the original states that were involved with the making of the Constitution? Or were they not included.Or maybe they were all asleep when the 2nd Amendment was written.Here’s an idea,why don’t they join California and secede.When no longer need these type of people to be part of the U.S..

    1. What murder? It was an enraged and obviously unstable man who tried to murder 2 officers and in the process lost his life.

      1. Oh I didn’t realize that YOU were there and saw the man “enraged” and unstable who was lurking in his home HOPING that two or more police would come to his door so he could kill them. Maybe you killed the police and him. My statement is of course as facetious as was yours.

    1. Most jurisdictions with red flag policies do allow one to challenge it court after one’s property is taken. Of course I’d rather see it done in a constitutional manner where there’s a court hearing BEFORE property is taken.

  5. So, here’s the factual story without any influence over party or personal agenda.
    Gary Willis was being served a Red Flag warrant when Willis answered the door with a gun in his hand. After being ordered to put the firearm down, Willis complied. After policeman attempted to serve aforementioned warrant, Willis became irate and combative. Willis then picked up his firearm once again, against the direct and lawful orders of the policeman, and a struggle ensued to disarm Willis. A shot was fired from Willis’s firearm, striking no one, and that is when return fire from the police struck Willis.
    No, he wasn’t slaughtered, he was shot because he refused to put down a loaded and chambered firearm and began fighting with the police while he had said firearm in his hand, while the police were trying to serve a lawful warrant. His inability to comply with lawful orders is what lead to this unfortunate outcome.

  6. this is the way a civil war will start. some one gets killed, a friend or relative bombs the police station or another government building and it is on an

  7. Famous Wyatt Eyrp Marshall did’t shoot to kill, just wounded them. In the day we called them Badge Heavy cops. I don’t trust cops, and I am a white 29 Army veteran.

  8. I live near where this murder by cop took place. The shooters involved were not identified and were placed on desk duty while the incident investigation took place. Local news covered it by having police use this as justification for the red flag law. The last gubernatorial race was between a RINO and a Socialist. Don ‘t expect anything to come of this except more murder by cop.

    1. It was an unstable person who tried to MURDER the officers and lost his life due to a poor decision fueled by rage.

  9. I think someone in Maryland needs to file one of these “Red Flag Orders” on the police officers that killed the man! The police are probably exempt from this law.

  10. “Maryland’s red flag law enables an anonymous source to accuse people of potentially being a danger to themselves or others, and the state will remove any firearms from the home.”

    This is blatantly unconstitutional it moves the burden of proof from the accuser proving someone is guilty of a crime to the accused.

    The reason the ANTI AMERICANS pushing for this reversal/abolishing of the constitutions DUE PROCESS clause is they can make ANONYMOUS complaints to harass people over anything, The one who complained could simply be UPSET about the individuals politics, religion, race, or the fact they believe AS THE CONSTITUTION states they have a right to defend themselves or family now have an easy way to have the police do the harassing for them.

    Did the police even investigate the accuser for all we know they wanted the person killed and were using the police to disarm them so they would be defenseless if the police did not carry out the murder for them.

    We will see more false allegations being made in the future about the man in order to protect the ILLEGAL law that resulted in his murder.

  11. Have I got this right? Two police officers serve what to them is a legal order to confiscate the weapons of someone considered dangerous. The author assumes he MAY have been asleep with a gun. Hearing the knock he goes to the door holding the gun. Paranoia?

    Seeing the police he puts the gun down. When the officers tell him why they’re there he becomes enraged. Believing they’re violating his rights, he grabs the gun and in a rage tries to murder the officers but fails to hit them. While he still has the gun, the police officers, fearing for their lives, shoot and kill the aggressor.

    His niece says her uncle was harmless and not a threat to anyone, including himself despite the fact he tried to murder the officers. It seems he also had a habit of answering the door gun in hand, making him less than harmless.

    Then the author states he was denied due process because, “Odds are, an elderly man answering a knock on his door with a pistol in his hand just prior to sunup in a city renowned for its recent extreme violence and wanton destruction of private property is a man who wants to continue living. People do not arm themselves for protection if they plan on dying.” Yet he conveniently ignores the fact he knew it was the police an had laid down his weapon. Then in a rage he picked up the gun and tried to murder the officers.

    Doesn’t anyone see the glaring problem with the author’s narrative? Here was an unstable man who went for a weapon with the intent to kill police officers and wound up being killed. How is that a SLAUGHTER? But just what would it have been had he killed the “GESTAPO GOONS” because he was enraged about the order? Would it have been a justified shooting of “GESTAPO jackbooted pigs” by a patriot? I’m sure what the armchair Monday morning quarterback Rivahmitch would say.

    By the way, I doubt the constitutionality of red flag orders without FIRST giving a person a court hearing with all the protections of due process. Even then I’d have reservations without proof of misconduct causing concerns. But trying to kill police trying to serve such an order is a recipe for getting oneself killed. What’s the saying, better to be tried by12 than carried by 6? He could have pursued due process in court. It’s sad he chose to act unwisely.

    1. Well no, you don’t have it right, thanks for asking.

  12. How F’ing appropriate for foreign operative supporting turncoats in our “law inforcement” agency’s! killing a man in his own home while taking his 2nd amendment right away from him! The foreign loving wannabe dictators should be thanking God that
    we are not the gun toting hillbillies the dumacraps dictators have touted the American patriots to be, because if that lie was true every one of these mentally deranged
    Dumacraps would be dead! But it was just another lie for the gullible controlled
    puppets to have a reason to hate to the degree one would hate due to ignorance. There will come the time for the plan to be activated and the ignorance
    of the left will have to be far more intelligent than they have shown themselves to be with their simple minded propaganda and the young lives they use to do the
    Oh so F’ing superior communist wannabe dumacraps dirty work.

    1. Foreign operatives? Foreign loving wannabe dictators ? Perhaps you should own guns as you seem quite unstable to me.

  13. i think to end the enforcement of these red flag laws… the widow of this man should seek a civil suit against the local police dept and the police officers involved. If every aggrieved person did this…see how fast the cops would hesitate to shoot a person like this again. We live in a country that has followed English law which basically robs you blind by calling it the legal system. We inherited a legal system where english barristers would milk a case…some times for years….running up charges for their clients. They would miraculously end the case when they knew that their clients were running out of money. today people sue cities and others at the drop of a hat. Look at that wrestler who sued and won a $100 million dollar law suit against some peeper ( I am sure he will never see 1% of the money.)…So have the wife of the deceased get a good lawyer and sue the police dept and the police officers…Even if the cops and the dept wins they will be out the $25-50k that a legal defense costs these days… With all the non lethal weapons the cops have….tasers…bean bag guns….truncheons…u can’t tell me there was no other way to stop a 60 yr old man at 5 am in his house!!!!!…ONce the cops see that the citizenry has the b%KKs to sue…they will think twice about rushing to serve these BS warrants…and think three times before using deadly force on civilians…..

  14. This is where you start a civil war!
    The Constitution of the United States provides you have the right to keep and bear arms reject yourself against tyrannical government intervention against unlawful confiscation of your property.
    This was blatant murder those police officers should have their badges taken way they should be prosecuted for felony murder and chill for the rest of their lives if not executed!

    Anyone that believes in gun control is a fool and passing more laws against guns is not going to do anything but exacerbate the problem and if you look at history you will see that that is the truth has been the truth and will always be the truth.
    This red flag law in Maryland is in direct conflict with Constitution and therefore cannot be held as a law it is a violation of the inalienable right of the United States citizen to keep and bear arms. Any law, any law that allows a thing such as murder of this poor man to happen is wrong regardless.

    This is not the 1930s or the 1940s Germany. This is the United States and you Nazis are not going to get away with pulling this crap like they did back then. We will rise up we will stop you!

    If you do not allow us to do it by vote we will do it by force, this crime and any more like it will not stand!

  15. Well William , I guess you have never had to deal with the police under the same situation or have the police come to your home for something unrelated , with the police recieving a tip that you are veteran and have PTSS and a gun owner . They come in and assume that you are going to be hostile, combative , and that you are going to do harm to them or others for no apparent reason . The police are not trained to deal with people under these circumstances and make statements openly about the mental state of the person they are dealing with . ” Been there done that ” . Any person that is disrespected in that manner is going to get defensive ! I ‘m a former police officer and a vet , but decided that I could not ruin peoples lives by petty offences , and there was a time that I would of put my life on the line to help a police officer , but , now because of those few , who don’t understand don’t care or on power trips I can’t honestly say I would be any assistance or would deeply consider before committing myself to helping . Now days it seems that there is so many shootings of innocent people by the police that they shoot first before trying to evaluate the situation before shooting or drawing their weapon . I like many veterans who love and care about the U.S.A , we wrote that big check willing to pay any price ! There are many veterans who don’t get the respect that they should deserve . I’m a Viet Nam era veteran and when we came home we were greeted with war protesters that blamed us and we were spit on and disrespected in so many ways . Try wearing some else shoes , before you condem them .

  16. If some one comes banging on my door at that hour, I wold answer the door armed too and a full explaination as to what is going on before any thing is done on the part of the police.

  17. This will truly be “THE END OF THE REPUBLIC”. When anybody with a grudge against someone can disarm them by stating (with NO EVIDENCE OR VERIFICATION) that they are a threat , kiss your counrty GOODBYE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  18. well at night when i shut my door and lock up and turn on the outside light on , which we didn’t use to have to do . when the sun goes down and I get a knock on my door i have a weapon in my hand at my side just behind my leg . if its a leo i tell them to give me a moment and secure my weapon . then i’ll go outside to see what the problem is . I’ve had a ccw permit for 20 yrs. and carried long before that . with these new bullshit gun laws ,especially this red flag law is the dumbest s far , is why i have just what i need for self and home defense . because these red flag laws are gonna get more people killed including leo’s . an unconstitutional law is not a law . I own very few and i mean very few firearms that have paper work on them , bought before the state changed the law on private sales . the government has no business knowing what i own , so they are stored in safe secure location . they better stop this so called law that takes our due process away before things really blows up in their faces . to be arrested or your property taken without cause or hear say is a violation of our Constitutional rights . SO TO OUR WANNA BE COMMUNIST GOVERNMENT , YOU BETTER WAKE UP AND SMELL THE ROSES .

  19. First comment, Recce1, who are you to question anything. Who are you period. If someone knocks on my door at 5:15am or whatever early time it was, you bet your ass I am answering the door with a gun. I won’t open the door and good luck to anyone that tries to get through a steel door. If you tell me you are the police and you are here to take my guns, I will tell you to get the fuck off my property immediately as you are trespassing. Any move you make after that in Texas, other than getting off my property is a death sentence. I will then call the police and find out what the hell is going on. If they tell me they have a warrant, I will send them to my lawyer. Bu they aren’t getting in my house.
    This shooting was bullshit, and the whole red flag crap is bullshit. If someone pisses someone else off and that guy know the other guy has guns, all you have to do is say that that person is a danger to others and HE HAS GUNS. You just did the same thing as these asswipes who swat people. This is garbage and who ever wrote this law should be held liable.

  20. Why in the world are they rousting this citizen at 5:00 in the morning? He had committed no crime, couldn’t they have come at a decent, respectful hour? Nobody is going to be likely to respond in a civil manner to something like this at 5:00 AM. Poor judgement all around here. As far as answering the door with gun in hand at that hour, if anyone comes to my door after dark and they are not expected, you can bet there will be a firearm close at hand but not visible.

  21. What happened to innocent until proven guilty? Maybe the Aunt should have been tested for mental stability , before this man was accused of not being competent to own a firearm.

  22. Spoken like a true American LIBERAL. The trouble is that most Cops are pussies and have had no prior combat experience, knowing when and where to use a weapon. Its obvious they don’t. The “elderly man” using modern self defense / martial arts techniques could have easily disarmed him and kept him alive. The Cops who operate out of fear automatically go for the gun, due to their insecurities and lack of proper training. I see many LE videos from dash cams to body cams and it is pathetic that some LE are actually carrying a weapon, when they have no training in HOW an WHEN to use it.

  23. I must agree with the others that this is a terrible law that allows anyone with a grudge to file a report and have anyone’s privacy invaded, without due process.
    This is NOT Nazi Germany for God’s sake.
    The reactions would be explosive if the elderly man would have been BLACK. Dear Lord save us all.

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