Law & Order

Biden Wants SCOTUS to Let Cops Seize Guns Without a Warrant

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The Fourth Amendment protects Americans “against unreasonable searches and seizures.”

President Joe Biden’s administration believes warrantless seizure of your firearms is perfectly reasonable.

In the Biden administration’s first amicus brief to the Supreme Court, it urged the high court to uphold a lower court’s ruling in Caniglia v. Strom, a case in which a dubious claim the gun owner could have posed a danger to himself was used as a pretext to take his firearms without a warrant. The lower court found the actions were protected under an exception to the warrant requirement to the Fourth Amendment.

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments in the case on Wednesday, according to Forbes.

According to an earlier Forbes report, the administration’s brief argued that warrants aren’t “presumptively required when a government official’s action is objectively grounded in a non-investigatory public interest, such as health or safety.”

Moreover, the Department of Justice brief stated that qualified immunity — the doctrine that government officials cannot be held accountable for rights violations unless they violated “clearly established” constitutional or legal rights — should protect the Cranston, Rhode Island, police officers who seized the guns.

You may remember that last summer, congressional Democrats fought bitterly to end qualified immunity for police, arguing that it shielded law enforcement officers and agencies from liability. Apparently, though, it’s now OK with the Biden administration — if only for a case that involves seizing weapons.

The case dates back to 2015. According to Forbes, a marital dispute broke out between 68-year-old Edward Caniglia and Kim Caniglia, his wife of more than two decades, after Edward Caniglia refused to use a coffee cup his brother-in-law had used previously, saying he might “catch a case of dishonesty” from it.

After an hour-long argument, Edward stormed into the bedroom, produced an unloaded handgun, put it on the kitchen table, and asked his wife, “Why don’t you just shoot me and get me out of my misery?”

The argument continued, according to Forbes, until Caniglia left to cool off with a drive. When he returned, the fighting resumed and Kim Caniglia eventually left for the night and got a hotel room. When she called the next morning, her husband didn’t answer.

She called police to perform a wellness check. When they arrived and talked to Edward, according to Forbes, officers said he “seemed normal,” “was calm for the most part,” and told them “he would never commit suicide.” An officer admitted they “did not consult any specific psychological or psychiatric criteria” when questioning him. They didn’t ask about his history of criminality, violence, self-harm or mental health issues.

Officers still believed there was a risk of suicide and wanted Caniglia to seek a psychological evaluation, Forbes reported. He initially refused, but only relented when they said they wouldn’t seize his firearms or ammunition. They were lying. They also lied to his wife and said Edward had assented to the seizures. That persuaded her to lead the officers to the couple’s two handguns, Forbes reported. The guns were then seized.

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