A Norwalk man arrested in August, accused of illegal possession of high capacity magazines will return to court in October following a hearing Friday.
After his initial arrest, Brandon Wagshol told Norwalk police he drove to New Hampshire to purchase the magazines, which are prohibited by Connecticut law. Police say they found four 30-round magazines in a car parked at his residence while executing a search-and-seizure warrant.
Wagshol remains under house arrest. His attorney Darrell Crossland said after the hearing he understands Wagshol's history of comments made and posted online about mass shootings are concerning, but that he still deserves a fair trial.
“We have no problem with people having concern but [in] America, you should have due process,” Crossland said. “So we're asking -- give us a discovery, let us know what you're charging him for with relation to a ‘mass shooting’ and let us move on. If it's just possession of the high-capacity magazines, we can deal with that.”
Crossland maintains that Wagshol did not have plans to carry out a mass shooting and will plead not guilty at his next court date. He has not yet entered a plea.
Norwalk police used a risk warrant to detain Wagshol after an FBI tip and subsequent investigation. While executing a search-and-seizure warrant, police also found multiple firearms registered to Wagshol’s father, tactical gear including a helmet and bulletproof vest and other items during the search.
Following the Sandy Hook Elementary School mass shooting in 2012, legislators in the state outlawed the purchase, sale and possession of magazines with capacities that exceed ten bullets under Public Act 13-3.
Risk warrants, also known as a red flag law, were enacted in Connecticut in 1999. Risk warrants allow law enforcement to temporarily remove firearms from individuals when there is probable cause to believe they pose a significant risk of harm to themselves or others.
Initially, the measure was largely targeted to help law enforcement and members of the public address concerns of suicide and domestic violence when it was known that a person had access to firearms.
As mass shooters continue to strike schools, places of worship, public gatherings, and neighborhoods across the country, risk warrants are also being used to address people suspected of planning or threatening to commit mass shootings.