The FBI has taken advantage of a new Oregon law to seize the guns from a former U.S. Marine who made a public vow to "slaughter" and "wipe out" Antifa if the far-left group became violent.
Shane Kohfield spoke at a recent rally in Portland where groups on the far-right clashed with Antifa. As OregonLive.com reported, Kohfield condemned the way the city had handled other recent events where there were violent confrontations between the two groups and said that people in attendance would need to protect themselves against Antifa, the anti-fascist group.
"If Antifa gets to the point where they start killing us, I'm going to kill them next," Kohfield said as he used a loudspeaker to advise the far-right demonstrators. "I'd slaughter them and I have a detailed plan on how I would wipe out Antifa."
The speech came as authorities in Portland struggled to stop the violence between far-right and far-left groups, which attracted some national attention to the city.
As the OregonLive.com report noted, the public threat from Kohfield also sparked interest from the FBI's Joint Terrorism Task Force, which took advantage of Oregon's new "red flag" law that allows authorities to seize guns from people in order to prevent acts of violence. The task force also had Kohfield committed to a veterans' hospital, where he spent the next 20 days.Kohfield told the newspaper that he suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and bipolar disorder, and said after returning home from the hospital that he understands why authorities took the extraordinary steps against him.
"I looked unhinged. I looked dangerous and have the training to be dangerous," said Kohfield, who served two tours of duty in Iraq. He went on to say that he did not have any intention of causing violence, and was only hoping to de-escalate the situation by appearing to be the "scariest person in the room."
The story shines a light on the growing trend of "red flag" laws, a response to an epidemic of gun violence that hopes to prevent shootings. The New York Times reported earlier this year that a number of states have implemented versions of the law that was used in Oregon to have guns taken from Shane Kohfield. These laws have brought some controversy and pushback from Second Amendment advocates, but NPR noted that they have wide support across the political spectrum, one of the rare areas of common ground between Democrats and President Donald Trump.