The Biden Administration reportedly put pressure on the Supreme Court to allow for warrantless confiscations of guns as the Court heard arguments in the Caniglia v. Strom case.
In the case, Edward Caniglia allegedly got into an argument with his wife Kim back in 2015 which resulted in the police taking away Caniglia’s firearms.
Check out what Forbes reported:
Still, police were convinced that Edward could hurt himself and insisted he head to a local hospital for a psychiatric evaluation. After refusing and insisting that his mental health wasn’t their business, Edward agreed only after police (falsely) promised they wouldn’t seize his guns while he was gone.
Compounding the dishonesty, police then told Kim that Edward had consented to the confiscation. Believing the seizures were approved by her husband, Kim led the officers to the two handguns the couple owned, which were promptly seized. Even though Edward was immediately discharged from the hospital, police only returned the firearms after he filed a civil rights lawsuit against them.
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Instead of stating that Caniglia’s guns were taken due to an imminent danger, they instead said that their confiscation of the weapons was just a form of “community caretaking.”
The Biden Administration is reportedly on the side of the police in this case, telling the Supreme Court that warrants shouldn’t be “presumptively required when a government official’s action is objectively grounded in a non-investigatory public interest, such as health or safety.”
Even liberal Justice Sonia Sotomayor seems to have a problem with police being able to barge into American’s homes and siezing their weapons. She noted that “there was no immediate danger to the person threatening suicide and no immediate danger to the wife because the suicide person [sic] was removed to a hospital.”
Sotomayor explained that the man should have received a psychiatric evaluation however the issue she had with the situation was the police “going into the home without attempt to secure consent from the wife and seizing the gun and then keeping it indefinitely until a lawsuit is filed.”
“The wife tried to get it back. He tried to get it back. Weeks and weeks went by,” Sotomayor said. “When we permit police to search and seize without some standard, we run the risk of situations like this one repeating themselves.”
This risk featured prominently in the amicus briefs filed by gun-rights advocates. “Expansion of the ‘community caretaking’ exception into the home will be used by police in jurisdictions with onerous or constitutionally-questionable firearm restrictions to turn every call to a house into a search for guns under the pretext of ‘helping’ those present,” warned a joint amicus brief filed by the Second Amendment Law Center, the California Rifle and Pistol Association, and Gun Owners of California. Simply put, “the Fourth Amendment has no ‘gun’ exception.”
Although Caniglia v. Strom centers around seizing guns from someone suspected of being suicidal, its reach will be much, much broader. Should the Supreme Court adopt the Biden Administration’s argument that “the Fourth Amendment permits a warrantless seizure or home entry that is reasonably necessary to protect health or safety,” such public health and safety concerns could “become a pretext for law enforcement,” argued Shay Dvoretzky, who argued for Caniglia before the High Court.
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