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  1. #1
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    Default Supreme Court will decide if police can enter home to seize guns without a warrant

    https://www.forbes.com/sites/evanger...out-a-warrant/


    The 4th Amendment right against warrantless searches of a person’s home is a pillar of Americans’ constitutional liberties. Before a police officer, or any other government official, can enter your home, they must show a judge that they have probable cause that they will discover specific evidence of a crime.


    There are some limited exceptions to this right. There is an “exigent circumstances” exception. If a police officer looks through a home’s window and sees a person about to stab another person, the officer can burst through the door to prevent the attack. There is also the “emergency aid” exception. If the officer looked through the same window and saw the resident collapsing from an apparent heart attack, the officer could run into the house to administer aid. Neither of these cases violates the 4th Amendment and few would argue that it should be otherwise.

    However, there is a broader cousin to these amendments called the “community caretaking” exception. It originally derives from a case in which the police took a gun out of the trunk of an impounded vehicle without first obtaining a warrant. The Supreme Court held that there is a community caretaking exception to the 4th Amendment’s warrant requirement because police perform “community caretaking functions, totally divorced from the detection, investigation, or acquisition of evidence relating to the violation of a criminal statute." The Court held that police activity in furtherance of these functions does not violate the 4th Amendment as long as it is executed in a “reasonable” manner.

    Note that, unlike the first two exceptions, this exception is not limited to immediate emergencies. In the Supreme Court case just described there was only a general concern that vandals might eventually break into the impounded car and steal any weapons that were in the trunk. So the community care exception is far broader than the other two.

    Also, all three exceptions allow warrantless searches so long as the police officer acted “reasonably”. That is one of the easiest constitutional standards to meet and is a significantly lower standard than “probable cause”, which is required for a warrant. As long as an officer might reasonably think that a warrantless search will alleviate a danger to the community, the search is considered constitutional.

    There is a vigorous debate about whether the community care exception can apply to searches of a person’s home as well as of their car. Vehicles have always had less 4th Amendment protection than homes, which are considered a person’s most private sphere. Federal courts have been divided on this question and the Supreme Court has not ruled on it until now.

    The Court has just announced that it will hear arguments next month on a case that presents this issue: Caniglia v. Strom. In this case, Mr. Caniglia was arguing with his wife and melodramatically put an unloaded gun on the table and said “shoot me now and get it over with.” His wife called a non-emergency number for the police who arrived shortly thereafter. The police disagreed about whether Mr. Caniglia was acting “normal” or “agitated” but they convinced him to take an ambulance to the local hospital for evaluation. The police did not accompany him.

    While he was on his way to the hospital, Mrs. Caniglia told the police that her husband kept two handguns in the home. The police decided to search his home for the guns without obtaining a warrant. (Mrs. Caniglia’s consent to have the police search their home was legally negated because the police untruthfully told her that her husband had consented to the seizure of any guns.) The police located and seized the two guns. Mr. Caniglia sued for the violation of his 4th Amendment right to privacy and his 2nd Amendment right to keep handguns in the home for self-protection.

    The 1st Circuit Court of Appeals (which is the federal court just below the Supreme Court in Caniglia’s jurisdiction) sided with the police. The court wrote: “At its core, the community caretaking doctrine is designed to give police elbow room to take appropriate action when unforeseen circumstances present some transient hazard that requires immediate attention. Understanding the core purpose of the doctrine leads inexorably to the conclusion that it should not be limited to the motor vehicle context. Threats to individual and community safety are not confined to the highways.”

    It is certainly true that the police need a good deal of discretion in carrying out their varied, complex, and sometimes dangerous duties. But they are also powerful agents of the government and their power is supposed to be restrained by the Bill of Rights. The 4th Amendment is supposed to protect the home above all other places. And whatever one’s views on gun control may be, the Supreme Court has clearly held that the right to keep handguns in the home is at the core of the 2nd Amendment.

    Unlike the “exigent circumstances” and “emergency aid” exceptions, the community caretaking exception is not limited to circumstances where there is no time to apply for a warrant. And the question of what sort of caretaking falls under this exception is extremely vague. Will the police be able to use it to, for example, conduct warrantless searches of political protesters’ homes to make sure they aren’t planning on violent behavior at their next political rally? The Supreme Court is going to take a very close look at this case and there is a good chance that they will overrule the lower court’s decision.

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Supreme Court will decide if police can enter home to seize guns without a warran

    Let's hope they set a clear standard on this one. Clearly this case has great implications for gun rights, but to me it's even bigger than that. The fundamental philosophical question at the root of this is, "Are the police there to cite people after they break the law, or can the police act to prevent people from breaking the law in the first place?"

    A core part of American culture is that the police are there to cite and arrest afterward, not to prevent crime. Any deterrent effect they provide is solely through fear of being caught. Both sides agree on this to some extent. And if the Court explicitly permits police to prevent crimes, there really is no meaningful limit on what they, or the government in general, can do to private citizens' lives as long as they say it was to prevent a crime. Kind of like Jimbo and Ned in South Park yelling "It was coming right for us" whenever they shoot something out of season.

    From the information in the quoted article above, I think the case in question is really stupid. There was no reason to believe Mr. Caniglia intended to do anyone harm with any guns he owned, and despite having the opportunity to commit violence he certainly didn't hurt anyone or even suggest he would.

    Based on Roberts' past shenanigans, there's a decent chance they will pay some lip service to the principle of the 4th Amendment, but then fail to draw a clear line around it- that way the police can keep doing whatever they want, yet no one can point to the Supreme Court and say "See, the Supreme Court said this was OK!". And that would be Democrats' wet dream- Who needs Red Flag laws when now all you have to do is make up a prevented crime afterward? No paperwork, no court proceedings- Just take the guns and say "Community Protection!" Done!
    They even have minds but do not think. -Dov Fischer

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Supreme Court will decide if police can enter home to seize guns without a warran

    Given that he went to the hospital via EMS for what was almost certainly a mental health evaluation, and did not accompany or follow directly behind (tail gating) EMS we know the following.

    1. PD did not consider him a serious / imminent threat to himself, the EMS crew, or hospital staff. The EMS crew did not consider him a serious/ imminent threat.

    2. He was evaluated for his mental soundness in the ER by a presumed competent mental health authority. Thus, if discharged he would presumably not be a threat to himself, or the public, and thus the police had no legitimate reason to provide the actions of a caretaker.

    Given that the police lied, which isn*t in dispute, their statements with the entire case are questionable at best. They did not secure a loaded gun sitting on the counter which he had access to in a situation which they might have reasonably been concerned about his mental health. They actively stole his property after forcing him out of the residence.
    "Cives Arma Ferant"

    "I know I'm not James Bond, that's why I don't keep a loaded gun under the pillow, or bang Russian spies on a regular basis." - GunLawyer001

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Supreme Court will decide if police can enter home to seize guns without a warran

    Well when the courts and medical professionals get stacked with antigun gun liberals......opinions change

    This will be the new standard to seize guns..community care taking.....for the good of Kens and Karens

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Supreme Court will decide if police can enter home to seize guns without a warran

    The left hats cops anyway, this is a good way to get rid of a few, right?

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Supreme Court will decide if police can enter home to seize guns without a warran

    This shouldn't even be a question.
    FUCK BIDEN

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Supreme Court will decide if police can enter home to seize guns without a warran

    The Supreme Court has already ruled the police have no obligation to protect an individual (Warren v. DC). In essence, the police now want to void the 4th to protect the people.

    Which is it; you can*t have both!
    Resistance to tyrants is obedience to God.

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Supreme Court will decide if police can enter home to seize guns without a warran

    Quote Originally Posted by win67 View Post
    Let's hope they set a clear standard on this one. Clearly this case has great implications for gun rights, but to me it's even bigger than that. The fundamental philosophical question at the root of this is, "Are the police there to cite people after they break the law, or can the police act to prevent people from breaking the law in the first place?"

    A core part of American culture is that the police are there to cite and arrest afterward, not to prevent crime. Any deterrent effect they provide is solely through fear of being caught. Both sides agree on this to some extent. And if the Court explicitly permits police to prevent crimes, there really is no meaningful limit on what they, or the government in general, can do to private citizens' lives as long as they say it was to prevent a crime. Kind of like Jimbo and Ned in South Park yelling "It was coming right for us" whenever they shoot something out of season.

    From the information in the quoted article above, I think the case in question is really stupid. There was no reason to believe Mr. Caniglia intended to do anyone harm with any guns he owned, and despite having the opportunity to commit violence he certainly didn't hurt anyone or even suggest he would.

    Based on Roberts' past shenanigans, there's a decent chance they will pay some lip service to the principle of the 4th Amendment, but then fail to draw a clear line around it- that way the police can keep doing whatever they want, yet no one can point to the Supreme Court and say "See, the Supreme Court said this was OK!". And that would be Democrats' wet dream- Who needs Red Flag laws when now all you have to do is make up a prevented crime afterward? No paperwork, no court proceedings- Just take the guns and say "Community Protection!" Done!
    This is a great framing of the question.

    I fall squarely in the "police should investigate crime and arrest or cite criminals after the crime is committed" camp and the deterrent effect should follow naturally from that threat of being caught.

    If police witness a crime in progress or "exigent circumstances", their standards for taking action should be essentially the same as the standard for regular people. If there is an imminent threat to someone's life or serious bodily injury as would be determine by a reasonable person, they should be able to use force, just like anyone else. If there is a medical emergency that they are trained to help solve, perhaps they should be afforded some corresponding good Samaritan protections to limit their liability, etc.

    If they witness a crime in progress, they can begin their investigation of the crime in real time (according to the limitations placed on them by the 4th amendment, etc.) and effect an arrest when that investigation meets the probable cause requirement necessary for the case.

    Police should have no special authority or qualified immunity for actions taken to prevent crime beyond that of regular citizens. If that means that police don't have enough leeway to effectively perform their duties with regard to stopping crime in progress happening right in front of them, then perhaps the "qualifications" for immunity should be lowered to cover regular people as well.

    The police should not be nanny-state parents, enjoying special privileges to interdict the actions of free citizens when no crime has been committed.

    Quote Originally Posted by Jhaydeno View Post
    The Supreme Court has already ruled the police have no obligation to protect an individual (Warren v. DC). In essence, the police now want to void the 4th to protect the people.

    Which is it; you can*t have both!
    Yep. I'll keep my 4th amendment, thank you. No obligation to protect is fine with me. It's unrealistic to expect them to be able to anyway, so that responsibility ultimately falls to the individual regardless of what anyone wants in an ideal world. We don't live in an ideal world.

    The police can't be there 24/7 to protect us even if we wanted them to, so we have to take responsibility for our own safety and be equipped to do so. There's no getting around that, ever.
    I am not a lawyer.

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Supreme Court will decide if police can enter home to seize guns without a warran

    Ya know who will decide? me...
    The chair is against the wall... John has a long mustache...

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Supreme Court will decide if police can enter home to seize guns without a warran

    In Warren v DC the trial judges held that the police were under no specific legal duty to provide protection to the individual plaintiffs.

    In general, mistaken understanding of the case expands the finding to include the general public at large. Not so. The case examined whether a person fearful for life and/or limb could demand that a police officer be assigned to guard them personally.

    What is soon to go before SCOTUS carries the speculation that a household containing guns (like the trunk of a car) might be broken into and the guns within stolen and carried away, endangering the community at large. If this specious argument persuades, be ready for mandated securing of guns in a manner dictated by governing bodies.
    There are only two kinds of guns. Those I have and those I want.

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