Update: On March 2, 2016, the Flathead County Attorney’s Office agreed to defer prosecution of David Joseph Lenio. This means that the case against Lenio will be dismissed after two years if he remains “a law-abiding citizen at all times.”1 Three firearms have been returned to Lenio and he will be allowed to own and purchase guns under the agreement. The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence issued a statement in response to this disturbing development.2
In February, David Joseph Lenio was arrested after engaging Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence communications director Jonathan Hutson in a verbal duel on Twitter. Hutson saw that Lenio tweeted that he wanted to “execute grade school kids.” “I bet I’d take out at least a whole classroom and score 30-plus if I put my mind to it,” he wrote.1 All told, Lenio had threatened violence against children and Jewish leaders dozens of times.
The day Lenio was arrested, police found two rifles in his home and a handgun in his vehicle, as well as ammunition of various calibers. His roommate told authorities that Lenio had just obtained a rifle and other items from a storage unit and brought them to the residence.2
Now, disturbing news from Lenio’s court proceedings is emerging. Public defender Brent Getty filed a motion on November 5, 2015, stating “the matter may be able to be resolved, without the need for a trial, as early as next week.” There is significant concern that a plea deal could involve a misdemeanor (as opposed to a felony) charge or a deferred prosecution. This could allow Lenio to recover his firearms and legally purchase guns once again.
The Second Amendment was not ratified to vindicate the rights of men who threaten children. David Joseph Lenio is an obvious threat to his community and should not have his gun rights restored at any point.
Tell Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan: Do not settle for any outcome that might allow Lenio to own guns again.