MAN WHO THREATENS SCHOOL CHILDREN AND RELIGIOUS LEADERS HAS GUN RIGHTS REINSTATED BY MONTANA COURT

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:  March 7, 2016
MEDIA CONTACT: Andrew Patrick, apatrick@csgv.org, Cell: (828) 712-7603
CSGV collects over 7,000 signatures calling on the suspension of David Joseph Lenio’s gun rights after he threatened to shoot school children and Jewish leaders

Kalispell, MT
—The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence is greatly disappointed in Flathead County Attorney Ed Corrigan’s decision to agree to defer prosecution against David Joseph Lenio, a man arrested last year for threatening to murder Kalispell school children and religious leaders in a series of Twitter posts.

“I bet I could get at least 12 unarmed sitting ducks if I decided to go on a killing spree in a school,” Lenio wrote in one of several posts threatening the mass murder of innocent people.  He was facing one charge of felony intimidation after sending hateful Twitter messages between December 2014 and February 2015.  The deferred prosecution calls for the case to be dismissed after two years if Lenio remains a “law-abiding citizen at all times.” The agreement returns three guns and ammunition clips to Lenio and allows him to retain all of his gun rights over those two years.

Last July, Judge Heidi Ulbricht released Lenio into the custody of his father under the conditions that he stay off social media,  not contact witnesses, receive a psychological evaluation, and not have access to firearms.  Despite these conditions, Lenio has appeared active on his Twitter account retweeting violent and threatening language hundreds of times since his release.  His failure to comply with the court’s conditions demonstrates Joseph Lenio’s inability to remain a “law-abiding citizen at all times.” It is clear he should not be armed.

The fact that Lenio has been rearmed by the state of Montana is outrageous.  It allows a man who has shown himself to be volatile and dangerous to retain possession of his arsenal. How much dangerous behavior does Ed Corrigan need to see until he takes action to disarm Joseph Lenio?  Will it take bloodshed before he acts?  Do we have to wait until Lenio carries out his threats?  Unfortunately, by then, it will be far too late.

The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence launched a petition last year calling on Attorney Ed Corrigan not to defer prosecution, and the petition collected over 7,400 signatures.  It is our hope that the State of Montana recognizes this mistake and removes David Joseph Lenio’s guns from his possession before he acts on his twisted threats.

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The Coalition to Stop Gun Violence (CSGV) seeks to secure freedom from gun violence through research, strategic engagement and effective policy advocacy. CSGV can be found on Facebook and Twitter.

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