Law & Order

Supreme Court Unanimously Rules Against Cops Seizing Guns Without a Warrant


The Supreme Court secured a major victory for gun rights Monday as it unanimously ruled that seizing firearms while someone is being monitored for suicide is unconstitutional.

The case centered around Edward Caniglia, whose guns were confiscated by Cranston, Rhode Island, police after he was taken to the hospital for a wellness check following a request from his wife, the American Bar Association Journal reported.

Caniglia and his wife got into an argument the previous night, where he expressed the desire to be shot and killed by her using his gun.

By ruling in favor of the Rhode Island man, the court noted an exception in the “community caretaking” exception to the Fourth Amendment, and that the doctrine should not apply to homes.

The First Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston gave a broader interpretation of the clause, which ended up in a ruling against Caniglia.

Both the Supreme Court and the appeals court’s decisions brought about a discussion regarding the 1973 case of Cady v. Dombrowski, which dealt with police searching a car that was considered to be in their custody following an accident.

“Neither the holding nor logic of Cady justifies such warrantless searches and seizures in the home,” Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his opinion for the court.

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