Gun Owners of America Celebrates Supreme Court Decision that Struck Down Police Power To Seize Firearms
In a rare bit of good news, the Supreme Court issued a decision on May 17, 2021 that overturned Rhode Island police’s policy of carrying out warrantless searches for firearms in a home by using the “community caretaking function.”
Gun Owners of America praised this decision in a press release that it published on May 17. It explained why “community caretaking function” is a flimsy doctrine and should be rejected:
This made-up doctrine, which is a purported exception to the Fourth Amendment’s warrant requirement, permits police to engage in warrantless searches and seizures when they are carrying out any of their duties other than criminal law enforcement. For example, police may enter homes to help persons in need of emergency assistance, or may search a vehicle to recover the gun of an off-duty officer they had just arrested.
Erich Pratt, Senior Vice President of Gun Owners of America (GOA) and Gun Owners Foundation (GOF), shared his thoughts on the Supreme Court’s decision:
The Supreme Court today smacked down the hopes of gun grabbers across the nation. The Michael Bloombergs of the world would have loved to see the Supreme Court grant police the authority to confiscate firearms without a warrant. But the Supreme Court unanimously ruled that the Fourth Amendment protections in the Bill of Rights protect gun owners from such invasions into their homes.
Per a legal brief from GOA, in the aftermath of an argument between a husband and wife, law enforcement entered their home without a warrant to search for and confiscate the husband’s firearms. They did so by appealing to the “community caretaking” exception to the Fourth Amendment. The GOA press release noted that “The Rhode Island district court and the First Circuit plucked two words from a court-created doctrine in an effort to empower police to grab guns in homes whenever it seems to be a good idea.”
The Court decision ended up being unanimous with Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas writing a short opinion that rejected the use of this doctrine as a justification for the search. In his opinion, Thomas made a distinction between a rule that was applicable to an impounded car and “the right of a man to retreat into his own home and there be free from unreasonable governmental intrusion.”
GOA and its foundation are actively filing lawsuits nationwide against attempts to attack the Second Amendment. Occasionally, the Supreme Court gets certain things right on the Second Amendment.
Undoubtedly, litigation is one strategy the right can use to safeguard their liberties from an ever-aggressive Left.