Police Use Red Flag Laws on Man Over Social Media Posts About ‘Joker’ Movie

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A 23 year old man from Redmond, Washington, has had “several guns” removed from him for making social media posts pertaining to the “Joker” movie.

The man was arrested prior to the opening of “Joker,” and had rifles, handguns, and his concealed-pistol licence temporarily seized from him under Washington state’s Extreme Risk Protection Order, after police claimed he had posted threatening messages online.

One photo dated September 26th shows the man holding two AK-47s, pointing in the air, with the caption “one ticket to Joker please.” The caption is a current meme that is being posted by fans of the film:

Police claim the photo is an implied threat of a mass shooting, despite the man arguing it was simply a joke, and have petitioned a judge to extend the ERPO for at least one year:

With the upcoming release of the movie that (suspect) indicated he would bring firearms to, the Redmond Police are troubled that moviegoers may be at risk of serious injury or death if (suspect) continues to have access, possession or ability to purchase firearms.

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Other photos included in the petition show the man with firearms tucked under his waistband, and one with a gun pressed to his face. The man does not have a prior criminal history, nor previous contact with the police.

The ERPO legislation was approved by Washington voters in 2016, and allows police or family members to ask a judge to remove firearms from someone who is a risk to themselves or others, even if they have never committed a crime.

The news comes after weeks of speculation in the mainstream media that “Joker” would inspire mass shootings. New York and LA police officers were deployed to screenings on the opening weekend.

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Despite dire box office predictions from critics opposed to its dark themes and character study of an emotionally damaged white male living in an unfeeling dystopian society, “Joker” has smashed 4 box office records, including the biggest all-time October opening weekend. It is also currently the 9th highest rated film of all time on IMDB.

The man has a court hearing set for October 15th.