CrimProf Blog

Editor: Kevin Cole
Univ. of San Diego School of Law

Thursday, December 26, 2013

"Rutherford Institute Asks U.S. Supreme Court to Ensure that Lawful Gun Ownership Is Not a Trigger for ‘No-Knock’ Police Raids"

From the website for The Rutherford Institute:

Warning against encroachments on the Second Amendment right to bear arms, The Rutherford Institute has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hear the case of a Texas man whose home was subject to a no-knock, SWAT-team style forceful entry and raid based solely on the suspicion that there were legally-owned firearms in his household. Although police had obtained a search warrant for John Quinn’s home based on information that Quinn’s son might possess drugs, the warrant did not authorize police to enter the residence without knocking and announcing their entry. During the raid, Quinn was shot by police because he had reached for his lawfully owned firearm, thinking that his home was being invaded by criminals. In asking the Supreme Court to hear the case of Quinn v. State of Texas, Institute attorneys argue that making lawful gun ownership and possession grounds for police to evade the protections afforded by the Fourth Amendment improperly penalizes and limits the Second Amendment right to bear arms.

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The same argument was tried, and lost, in the New Mexico case State v. Ketelson, 150 N.M. 137 (N.M., 2011) where the state supreme court held that mere possession of a firearm during a traffic stop, even if lawful, warranted the police seizing the weapon. In a subsequent unpublished court case it was held that one thus seized, the police were free to check and run the registration number. The court was unconcerned, as it usually is, with erosion of the 4th amendment. "Officer safety..." yad yada yada.

Posted by: Fozzy | Dec 27, 2013 9:15:23 AM

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