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SCOTUS Eyes Whether Police Can Seize Guns From Homes Without Warrants

Talyn

Hellcat
Founding Member
The United States Supreme Court has taken on a fourth amendment case that asks whether or not police can seize guns from a home without a warrant, under a previously decided case allowing for “community caretaking“.

SCOTUS Eyes Whether Police Can Seize Guns From Homes Without Warrants

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wmg1299

Custom
My prediction, which is merely an educated guess, is that the Community Caretaking exception to the warrant requirement will be limited to vehicles and will not be extended to the home. Unfortunately, this will be of little use to gun owners. The majority of recently proposed and enacted "Red Flag" laws provide for an ex-parte court hearing (one where the defendant is not present) in which a judge issues a warrant to seize firearms. Thus, any ruling preventing the seizure of property from a home under the Community Caretaking exception will strictly be applied to warrantless seizures.

Any seizures that occur as the result of a warrant issued by a judge after a "Red Flag" hearing would be unaffected. The best that the average gun owner could hope for is that the ruling may provide some guidance on what kind of evidence or testimony would be necessary to constitutionally justify a confiscation order. Again, this is only a guess.
 

TidalWave

Master Class
Complicated, to say the least.
General observation: I get concerned when one-off “special circumstances” incidents become a basis for a new law or finding. Not every circumstance can have a rule.
 

Peglegjoe

Professional
Founding Member
and so are vehicles.
Depends on the locale, just like the law regarding whether you are allowed to defend yourself in a vehicle depends on locale.

Know your laws, especially when you travel. Just because it's that way at home, doesn't mean it's the same where you're visiting...
in which a judge issues a warrant to seize firearms.
So SCOTUS needs to go after what is required in order to issue a warrant. "His guns scare me" should not qualify for a warrant. "I don't think my kids are safe in my home if they have guns in their home" should not qualify for a warrant. "He's pissed off at me for cheating on him and we're going through a divorce" should not qualify for a warrant.

"Pre-crime" is not means for arrest, or a warrant - and SCOTUS needs to make that clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Punishing a law-abiding citizen for a crime they have not - and may never - commit, should be illegal, and not even a consideration.
 

BobM

Professional
Depends on the locale, just like the law regarding whether you are allowed to defend yourself in a vehicle depends on locale.

Know your laws, especially when you travel. Just because it's that way at home, doesn't mean it's the same where you're visiting...

So SCOTUS needs to go after what is required in order to issue a warrant. "His guns scare me" should not qualify for a warrant. "I don't think my kids are safe in my home if they have guns in their home" should not qualify for a warrant. "He's pissed off at me for cheating on him and we're going through a divorce" should not qualify for a warrant.

"Pre-crime" is not means for arrest, or a warrant - and SCOTUS needs to make that clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Punishing a law-abiding citizen for a crime they have not - and may never - commit, should be illegal, and not even a consideration.
Yes, is very true. On Vehicles being protected space? It does vary from place to place. MI it is. Usually with Castle Doctrine from my understanding. Pleading temporary insanity this time. :) Next time shame on me, I know better.
 

Talyn

Hellcat
Founding Member
Stress isn't known to bring out the best in people.
Some is unanswered, like do both spouses live in same home? Likely, but not always.
Warrants? Home is designated as castle/domain for a legal reason and so are vehicles.

 

benstt

Professional
Founding Member
Stress isn't known to bring out the best in people.
Some is unanswered, like do both spouses live in same home? Likely, but not always.
Warrants? Home is designated as castle/domain for a legal reason and so are vehicles.
Vehicles usually do not have the same protection as homes, to the point that cops often don't need a warrant to search your car. That's the position under the U.S. Constitition, at least. Individual states may have their own laws giving more protection to people in vehicles. From a strict constitutional level, though, your vehicle has MUCH less protection from a search. If a cop can articulate PC, they're probably going to search your car. If they arrest you, they're going to search your car. If they tow your car, they're probably going to search your car. And you're not going to have much you can say about it. Just FYI.
 

BobM

Professional
Thank you for pointing out the vehicle statement more clearly than I did, for the good article and giving me heck too!

Is a ton of info out there on many subjects. Much is well intentioned while not always accurate in different locales. As always, best bet is to check with state laws and actually read them for yourself. From my experience even local police may have different explanations/opinions of same exact laws or scenario sometimes. Probable cause generally takes front seat too.
 
Speeding or not wearing a seatbelt is not probable cause to search a vehicle and a warrant must be obtained to legally search your vehicle. I know this for a fact because I was asked after a speeding stop if I would consent to a search and I said no get a warrant and they simply finished writing my ticket and left.
 

benstt

Professional
Founding Member
Speeding or not wearing a seatbelt is not probable cause to search a vehicle and a warrant must be obtained to legally search your vehicle. I know this for a fact because I was asked after a speeding stop if I would consent to a search and I said no get a warrant and they simply finished writing my ticket and left.
Speeding generally isn't a crime and absent some other factor(s) won't give the cop PC for a search. If he had PC he likely would have searched despite you asking for a warrant.
 

wmg1299

Custom
So SCOTUS needs to go after what is required in order to issue a warrant. "His guns scare me" should not qualify for a warrant. "I don't think my kids are safe in my home if they have guns in their home" should not qualify for a warrant. "He's pissed off at me for cheating on him and we're going through a divorce" should not qualify for a warrant.

"Pre-crime" is not means for arrest, or a warrant - and SCOTUS needs to make that clear, beyond a shadow of a doubt. Punishing a law-abiding citizen for a crime they have not - and may never - commit, should be illegal, and not even a consideration.
SCOTUS is the most powerful court in the land, but there are restrictions to their power. SCOTUS can only make binding interpretations of law concerning the issues presented in a case before the Court. Individual Justices have been known to state their opinions on certain issues that are not directly addressed in the case at hand, but these opinions are known as "dicta" and are not legally binding. In order to effectively rule on the constitutionality of warrants issued as the result of "Red Flag" hearings, SCOTUS would need to be issuing a decision in a case that directly involved one of these warrants.

The current makeup of the Court is more likely to hear gun cases than past Courts, so there is some hope for gun rights. Legislators who went to law school know this, and that is why they are considering a court packing plan. The smartest legislators know that court packing can backfire the second the other party takes office, but there may be enough stupid congresspeople to give it a shot.
 
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