The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday will hear oral argument in Caniglia v. Strom. It’s a case that could allow the government to confiscate our guns, among other things, without a warrant.
The consequences will impact policing, due process, and mental health. The Biden Administration and attorneys general from nine states are urging the High Court to uphold warrantless gun confiscation, Forbes reports.
DESTROYING THE FOURTH AMENDMENT FOR GUN CONFISCATION
The case is a Fourth Amendment case that Biden wants to go his way. It was the result of an elderly couples’ spat over a coffee mug.
Edward Caniglia and his wife Kim argued over a coffee mug and a crack he made about her brother. It escalated with Kim leaving the house and spending the night in a hotel. When she called in the morning, there was no answer. She became concerned and called the Cranston, Rhode Island police to do a “well check.”
They did, finding him on his deck seeming “normal,” and he “was calm for the most part.” He also said he “would never commit suicide.”
The officers didn’t ask Edward questions reflecting indicators of a suicidal person. They did talk Edward into going for a psych eval on the promise they wouldn’t confiscate his guns under the Red Flag laws.
Then they lied to the wife and said Edward gave permission for them to take his guns so she showed them to the guns which they confiscated.
Critically, when police seized the guns, they didn’t claim it was an emergency or to prevent imminent danger. Instead, the officers argued their actions were a form of “community caretaking,” a narrow exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement.
The community caretaking exception was designed for cases involving impounded cars and highway safety, on the grounds that police are often called to car accidents to remove nuisances like inoperable vehicles on public roads.
They now want to extend a highway safety exclusion to gun confiscation in a home — without a warrant and without cause.
In jurisdictions that have extended the community caretaking exception to homes, “everything from loud music to leaky pipes have been used to justify warrantless invasion of the home,” a joint amicus brief by the ACLU, the Cato Institute, and the American Conservative Union revealed.
Not only will people be afraid to call for help, it’s flagrantly unconstitutional.
These government forces will take guns willy nilly.
BIDEN’S DOJ ARGUES THAT IT’S REASONABLE
In its first amicus brief before the High Court, the Biden Administration ignored concerns and called on the justices to uphold the First Circuit’s ruling. They pushed for this exception to the Fourth Amendment for gun confiscation.
“The ultimate question, in this case, is therefore not whether the respondent officers’ actions fit within some narrow warrant exception,” their brief stated, “but instead whether those actions were reasonable,” actions the Justice Department felt were “justified” in Caniglia’s case.
This is so dangerous.
As a fail-safe, the Justice Department also urged the Supreme Court to uphold the lower court ruling on qualified immunity grounds, arguing that the officers’ “actions did not violate any clearly established law so as to render the officers individually liable in a damages action.”
No one wants to see officers sued, but they can’t be allowed to win this.