Supreme Court sides with gun owner 9-0

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9-0 who would have thought Roberts would do something right for once? This is a seeming blow to red flag laws.

During an argument with his wife, petitioner Edward Caniglia placed a handgun on the dining room table and asked his wife to “shoot [him] and get it over with.” His wife instead left the home and spent the night at a hotel. The next morning, she was unable to reach her hus-band by phone, so she called the police to request a welfare check. The responding officers accompanied Caniglia’s wife to the home, where they encountered Caniglia on the porch. The officers called an ambu-lance based on the belief that Caniglia posed a risk to himself or others. Caniglia agreed to go to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation on thecondition that the officers not confiscate his firearms. But once Caniglia left, the officers located and seized his weapons. Canigliasued, claiming that the officers had entered his home and seized him and his firearms without a warrant in violation of the Fourth Amend-ment. The District Court granted summary judgment to the officers. The First Circuit affirmed, extrapolating from the Court’s decision in Cady v. Dombrowski, 413 U. S. 433, a theory that the officers’ removal of Caniglia and his firearms from his home was justified by a “commu-nity caretaking exception” to the warrant requirement.

Held: Neither the holding nor logic of Cady justifies such warrantless searches and seizures in the home. Cady held that a warrantless search of an impounded vehicle for an unsecured firearm did not vio-late the Fourth Amendment. In reaching this conclusion, the Court noted that the officers who patrol the “public highways” are often called to discharge noncriminal “community caretaking functions,” such as responding to disabled vehicles or investigating accidents. 413 U. S., at 441. But searches of vehicles and homes are constitutionallydifferent, as the Cady opinion repeatedly stressed. Id., at 439, 440– 442. The very core of the Fourth Amendment’s guarantee is the right
2 CANIGLIA v. STROM Syllabus of a person to retreat into his or her home and “there be free from un-reasonable governmental intrusion.” Florida v. Jardines, 569 U. S. 1, 6. A recognition of the existence of “community caretaking” tasks, likerendering aid to motorists in disabled vehicles, is not an open-ended license to perform them anywhere. Pp. 3–4. 953 F. 3d 112, vacated and remanded.

2 COMMENTS

  1. This is more a 4A ruling than a 2A one. Even the lefty, wise-latina signed on. It was an obvious abuse if power by the police.

    Alito’s concurrence, however, takes a swipe at red flag laws. He basically said that the same standard would likely apply in his mind. I don’t think a case on RF will be a sweep.

  2. There’s also the assumption that Law enforcement will be law abiding.
    When the wife beating then sheriff of San Francisco County repeatedly committed felonies on live TV nothing beyond mild criticism in the press resulted.
    He’s a “Prohibited Person” and openly wore a sidearm after becoming one, on TV.
    This is not an isolated incident, check out the LEO Bill of rights.
    We now have a formal caste system in the USA.

    Red flag laws are blatantly unconstitutional, what part of “No person shall be deprived of Life, Liberty or Property without dueprocess of Law” is hard to understand?

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