Law enforcement action against man who made Internet threats proves strength of existing laws
Despite claims that new laws are needed to stop potential active killer attacks, law enforcement authorities proved last week that existing law is well up to the task when properly utilized.
From the Cleveland Plain Dealer:
Police in Mahoning County made a quick arrest of a man charged with making online threats against federal law enforcement agents because they feared he would commit a mass shooting, records show.
A search warrant affidavit from Boardman Township police detective William Woods dated Aug. 6 referred to 18-year-old Justin Olsen’s posts on a social media platform as “obviously terroristic,” and said authorities were trying to act fast in light of the mass shootings in Dayton and El Paso in the same week.
Those factors, along with a concern that Olsen had access to a significant cache of guns, caused police to treat the threat as a serious one, police Chief Todd Werth said. By Aug. 7, Olsen was in custody on state charges.
“Based on the obviously terroristic related rhetoric from ArmyOfChrist, I believe that Justin Olsen is planning a terrorist attack in the United States,” Woods wrote.
The article explains that Olsen used the handle “ArmyOfChrist” as his moniker on social media.
There, he told fellow users that he supported mass shootings and attacks on Planned Parenthood, according to an affidavit written by FBI agent Themistocles Tsarnas.
The threats included a June 2 discussion about the Branch Dividians in Waco, Texas, officials say. In 1993, cult leader David Koresh and many of his followers were killed following a standoff and raid by state and federal law enforcement.
Olsen wrote, “in conclusion, shoot every federal agent on sight,” according to the affidavit.
Olsen also posted statements such as “don’t comply with gun laws, stock up on stuff they could ban. In fact, go out of your way to break these laws, they’re f-----g stupid,” the affidavit says. He also wrote “Hell, even the Oklahoma City bombing shows that armed resistance is a viable method of political change. There is no legal solution,” according to the affidavit.
According to the article, the FBI seized 25 guns and 10,000 rounds of ammunition from the house where Olsen lived, and the suspect is now in the custody of the U.S. Marshals Service, being held on a federal charge.
A prosecutor in Boardman told the Plain Dealer that while an investigation into Olsen began in February, he could not wait to act on the information in light of recent mass shootings in the U.S., a Boardman police report said. That's an interesting remark, considering that former Gov. John Kasich and others have suggested a gun control bill is needed before law enforcement can charge potential threats and confiscate their firearms.
Buckeye Firearms Association has always opposed so-called 'red flag' laws, which are yet again being put forward by gun ban extremists in response to high-profile mass killings in Ohio and Texas. We have consistently pointed out that existing law is more than enough when used properly, and pointed other cases like these as proof.
Too many of our politicians are all-too eager to blame and punish law-abiding gun owners who had absolutely nothing to do with these sick acts.
There should be no more talk of laws which only punish the law-abiding.
There should be no talk of mandating government control over private sales of guns between individuals.
Instead, those who are truly seeking to make a difference should focus their efforts on improving our mental health system, securing our schools, eliminating so-called "gun free" victim zones, ensuring that government entities input their data into the national database, and punishing violent offenders to fullest extent of the law.
Chad D. Baus served as Buckeye Firearms Association Secretary from 2013-2019. He is co-founder of BFA-PAC, and served as its Vice Chairman for 15 years. He is the editor of BuckeyeFirearms.org, which received the Outdoor Writers of Ohio 2013 Supporting Member Award for Best Website, and is also an NRA-certified firearms instructor.