SHEBOYGAN -- He's accused of buying an assault rifle and making a terrorist threat. The lawyer for 21-year-old Joshua Bagemehl says his client has suffered mental health issues nearly all of his life. But, when it came to him purchasing a weapon, everyone is in agreement; it was a legal gun purchase. Now, one local leader is calling for change.
"Really disturbing. A lot of reasons for the community to be disturbed," Sheboygan County District Attorney Joel Urmanski said on the charges.
Authorities say they may have found pictures on Facebook just in time. In the photos, Bagemehl is seen holding guns, showing off his newly purchased AR-15 and hundreds of rounds of ammo.
Prosecutors say most disturbing however, the words posted along with them.
In a post, Bagemehl is seen writing, "Someone needs to do a school shooting around here. It'd be funny as (expletive)."
"He was very forthright and said that he watched violent videos, beheading videos included. He watched school shooting videos," says Urmanski.
The DA says Bagemehl told police watching violent videos never gets old. He even has a favorite school shooting; telling investigators Columbine is "the best." Someone who saw the Facebook posts online made an anonymous tip to police.
"He certainly had the ability to act on the threat that he posted," says Urmanski.
Bagemehl has been in trouble before. In December of 2014, prosecutors say he pushed his mother into a wall telling her she was "worthless and needed to be killed."
His mom informed police her son was "schizophrenic and bipolar." The case was eventually dropped.
It appears the relationship mended when this winter, police say she helped drive her son to the Gander Mountain in Sheboygan so he could buy an assault rifle.
Whether or not Bagemehl truly was a threat is now being debated in court.
"It screams someone who has a very black sense of humor, a very dark sense of humor," said Bagemehl's defense lawyer, George Limbeck.
Limbeck says his client may have some mental health issues but did not make a threat.
"A significant period of his life there have been documented mental health issues, yes -- I'll go that far," says Limbeck.
His family is not answering our questions.
Bagemehl's mental health issues may have been known to family, police and even prosecutors but when it came to buying weapons all agree, it was legal.
"There is nothing in the law as it is written now that was preventing him from having those guns," says Urmanski.
Bagemehl's arrest has caused the now retired Sheboygan District Attorney, Joe DeCecco, to call on gun organizations to see if people like Bagemehl can be stopped from making gun purchases.
DeCecco is urging gun groups to "support legislation banning anyone with a diagnosed mental health condition from ever possessing a firearm."
Lawmakers in Madison say the issue is complicated.
"It's a very difficult balance beam to walk because if you don't know that somebody is mentally ill and should not possess a gun because that is between their doctor and them, there is no way of finding out," says State Representative Joel Kleefisch (R-Oconomowoc).
Kleefisch says allowing government to access personal medical information is a recipe for disaster.
"We don't want government to know your business with your doctor," says Kleefisch.
In Wisconsin, only judges have the power to take away someone's gun rights. Joshua Bagemehl has never been convicted of a felony or been sent to a mental health facility against his will.
"Right now the laws aren't working," says state democratic senator Chris Larson.
He believes lawmakers can find common ground whether it be on background checks or new laws to get people the help they need.
"If there is enough public pressure, we can do something. We can get something done," says Larson.
"I'm not the kind of lawmaker who is going to keep a closed eye on the potential there may be a better way to do something," adds Kleefisch.
It's an issue with no easy answers that many hope remains a priority those with the power to find solutions.
"Can we look at it now and say that is a terrifying thought? You bet. But at this point there was nothing from his background that said he couldn't have them," says Urmanski.
Last week, Joshua Bagemehl was found competent to stand trial. He's due back in court next month.