The 4th Amendment - Is it applicable to Gun Owners too?

Discussion in 'Legal and Activism' started by gundaddytactical, Mar 17, 2014.

  1. gundaddytactical

    gundaddytactical New Member

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    I came across this article while getting my daily dose of gun news and here's what it says:

    Because one Texan was exercising his 2nd Amendment rights, Texas authorities argue that police were justified in violating his 4th Amendment rights.

    If someone owns a gun, is that enough for law enforcement to justify violating that person’s Fourth Amendment rights with a no-knock raid?

    It’s a question gun owners in Texas were hoping the U.S. Supreme Court would answer once and for all after Collin County police officers searched Texas resident John Quinn’s home without knocking or announcing their entry. But last week the court declined.

    The case relates to an incident in August 2006. Police say they were investigating Quinn’s son, Brian, who they suspected was in possession of drugs. Since the officers were aware that the Quinns owned firearms, including possibly an AK-47, they opted to conduct a no-knock raid at the family’s home.

    Because the police officers’ presence came as a surprise to John Quinn, who reportedly thought his home was being invaded by criminals, he reached for his gun. The heavily armed SWAT-like police force fired at him before he could fire at them, resulting in Quinn sustaining injuries.

    The police searched the home and found less than 1 gram of cocaine, and charged John Quinn with possession.

    Quinn’s son was not home at the time, a fact that the officer’s allegedly knew and was included in the warrant, so Quinn filed a lawsuit claiming the no-knock raid was an illegal search and seizure operation that violated his Fourth Amendment rights.

    Under the Fourth Amendment, police officers are required to knock and announce their presence before entering. However, if police feel that knocking would put their lives in danger, they can legally obtain permission to conduct a no-knock raid.

    Quinn’s case was taken up by the Rutherford Institute, a nonprofit civil liberties organization, but all lower courts and courts of appeal have rejected Quinn’s defense argument, which is that just because he has guns doesn’t mean that police officers can conduct a no-knock raid on his home.

    In fact, Quinn argued that if the officers would have knocked, he likely wouldn’t have reached for his weapon, which he had for self-defense purposes, and wouldn’t have been shot at all. But the Texas courts explained in their ruling that because police knew there were guns in the home, they were justified in conducting a no-knock raid.

    John W. Whitehead, president of The Rutherford Institute, hoped the U.S. Supreme Court would hear Quinn’s case, and even created a petition arguing that “…in the absence of any evidence of actual danger to police, the legal possession of a firearm, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment, is not sufficient to justify allowing police to override the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unannounced ‘no-knock’ home invasions when executing warrants.”

    Whitehead, who has also authored a book titled “A Government of Wolves: The Emerging American Police State,” warned that if the high court opted to not hear this case, then police officers throughout the U.S. would be able to cite this case as legal allowance for them to conduct a no-knock raid on any person they believed owned a firearm, setting what he called a dangerous precedent.

    Despite the Rutherford Institute’s best attempts, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that it would not hear Quinn’s case, thereby allowing the lower court rulings to stand.

    In response, Whitehead released the following statement:

    “Whatever the issue might be, whether it’s mass surveillance, no-knock raids, or the right to freely express one’s views about the government, we’ve moved into a new age in which the rights of the citizenry are being treated as a secondary concern by the White House, Congress, the courts, and their vast holding of employees, including law enforcement officials,” Whitehead said.

    “The disconnect, of course, is that the Constitution establishes a far different scenario in which government officials, including the police, are accountable to ‘we the people.’ For it to be otherwise, for government concerns to trump individual freedoms, with government officials routinely sidestepping the Constitution and reinterpreting the law to their own purposes, makes a mockery of everything this nation is supposed to stand for—self-government, justice, and the rule of law.”

    Whether the court’s ruling will set a dangerous precedent for gun owners in the U.S. remains to be seen. If it does, it’s likely the Supreme Court will have no choice but to revisit the issue.
     
  2. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    question that comes to my mind is how did they know he had guns in the first place?

    yes, at some point the Supreme Court is going to have to address the issue. might not happen until some LEO is shot or killed serving a no-knock warrant being thought to be a a home invader and then the homeowner is then killed as well.
     

  3. mseric

    mseric New Member

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    This has happened more than once. Just recently a Deputy Sheriff in Texas got himself killed serving a No-Knock warrant at 2:AM in search of a couple pot plants.

    The deputy was killed by the home owner Henry McGee who was charged with the Shooting Death of a Police Officer.

    In Feb 2014 the Grand Jury declined to indict McGee and the charges were dropped.

    This is the legal precedent that we need to expand on. Break into my Home Unannounced cop or no cop and I have the Legal right to shoot you dead. As it was with Henry McGee.

    http://www.kbtx.com/home/headlines/...led-by-Grand-Jury-243993261.html?device=phone
     
  4. Axxe55

    Axxe55 The Apocalypse Is Coming.....

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    nothing is worth a person dying for in regards to a no-knock warrant. many times these are served for the simple purpose that they are afraid evidence will be destroyed to avoid arrest charges. there are very few instances where i can see a no-knock warrnat being a viable option.

    the man not being billed by the grand jury is incredible. and not something i would have expected to happen. many states already have the precedent. problem is, if an officer is acting outside his authority is shot or killed, even the if the person is acting in self defence or good faith, they are more than likely to be served up dead, or railroaded by court system.
     
  5. RJMercer

    RJMercer New Member

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    They just have to slowly erode one right at a time and do it carefully one tiny bit at a time. 4th amendment in this show. 5th amendment in another. Then back to the 1st and back around to chisel away at the 2nd again. They know that and they are doing it no differently than the frog in the pot scenario.
     
  6. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    Often... I feel that no knocks have more to do with the adrenalin rush LEO's are looking for than destruction of evidence or officer safety. These are simply convenient excuses to justify thug behavior.

    I shed no tears for any badge that falls conducting a no knock in the United States.

    ...and I've quit giving to the Fallen Officers fund because I can no longer be sure the fallen cop didn't have it coming.

    Sure enough our resident apologist will chime in to vilify my position without ever giving a thought to the fact that it's THIER actions causing law abiding citizens to feel this way about a profession we "used to" respect.

    Tack
     
  7. towboater

    towboater Active Member

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    I'm a law abiding citizen. There is no reason the law should be breaking in my door. Therefor I would assume they are bad people intent on doing me and my family harm.
     
  8. mseric

    mseric New Member

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    The problem with the McGee case is that it never made it to court, so there is really no legal Precedent or case law. He got lucky and his luck is really no reason to believe any other citizen should or could have the same.
     
  9. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    Good observation, and IMHO a big reason he was not charged is because it happened in a very small town where both men's families know each other.
     
  10. Vikingdad

    Vikingdad New Member

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    Arguably the no-knock warrant created a scenario where police would be more likely injured.

    If my kid were to have illegal drugs in my house without my knowing it and the police knocked on the door with a warrant that specifically stated what they are looking for "particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized" as required by the 4th, I would allow the search of my son's person and possessions as described. If they found evidence of drugs and he were arrested I would consider not interfering.

    Likelihood of that scenario happening? Oh, just about as good as the court upholding our 4th Amendment rights in the first place.
     
  11. DrFootball

    DrFootball disappointed & disgusted, But DETERMINED... Lifetime Supporter

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    At least you know your Kids are good citizens.


    Sent from my iPad using Firearms Talk
     
  12. kbd512

    kbd512 Well-Known Member Lifetime Supporter

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    No-knock warrants have little to do with officer safety. If the police feel that they are likely to encounter armed resistance to serving a warrant, then they should arm and prepare themselves accordingly.

    If someone is standing behind the door, has a surveillance system, guard dog, etc then no-knock is simply state-sponsored B&E.

    I'm tired of all the incessant whining about officer safety. If you're that worried about your safety then find work elsewhere. Nobody asked anyone to be a police officer or soldier, its all volunteer and freely assuming obligation.

    The presumption should be that any job that involves using firearms is not "safe", for those who ascribe to that mother of mythical concepts, and therefore whatever you do is at your own risk. If you're not prepared to risk what you're being asked to risk, then don't volunteer.

    If every LEO in the country quit tomorrow, the US would be a violent place for about a week, maybe a month, after which all the gang bangers, rapists, murderers, and thieves would be piled up on the scrap heap of stupid decision making.

    Yes, life would be so terrible not having to feed, house, and provide medical care for the refuse of our society. And then we could move forward, not worrying about who will come "save" you from your own stupid decision making. Who knows, the threat of being killed and Mom and Dad not showing up to break up the fight might cause people to treat each other a little better or suffer the consequences. What an awful idea!

    Rights don't exist on inked paper, no matter how fancy the wording or how old the parchment. You have rights to what you're willing to kill and die for and that's about it. If everyone else wants to pretend along with or without the threat of use of force, they will. If not, well, there's plenty of history for anyone who can read.
     
  13. rjd3282

    rjd3282 New Member

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    I'm amazed at the people who are posting how terrible for people to have their 4th amendment right being violated but are ok with people having their 2nd amendment right violated. I know, I'm a troll.
     
  14. Tackleberry1

    Tackleberry1 New Member

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    No knocks are the spawn of the drug war and another citizen has been shot by police for being armed and startled in a place he had every right to be armed. :mad:

    The LEO excuses must end. If it's to dangerous to knock, or call ahead, then call the SWAT Team, surround the residence, and give the "perceived" threat a chance to surrender peacefully.

    If he shoots, or comes out shooting, then all bets are off, do what needs to be done, no one has a problem with officers defending themselves from attack but I have a HUGE problem with officers attacking and killing citizens, claiming self defense and whining about officer safety.

    If one of my troops had whined about "soldier safety" I'd have PT'd the little slug until he puked. :mad:

    Tack

     
  15. John_Deer

    John_Deer New Member

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    What gets to me is police are always talking about how dangerous their job is. Yet, in the list of the most dangerous jobs police officers are not even in the top 100. Most officers will never draw their weapon in self defense, much less be forced to use it.

    The millions of people who have jobs that are far more dangerous than a police officer are lucky if the job site is up to OSHA standards. Far more highway workers are killed on the job than police officers. Yet, most local police departments won't put any empty car with the lights flashing in a work zone. Officers tend to patrol open areas where they can write a lot of tickets instead of protecting road workers.

    I usually get at least a couple roadside grass planting jobs every year. I had poles with flags installed on my tractors. A HP trooper said I couldn't put the poles down because they impede traffic. I told the officer point blank, "If I can't protect my own workers you need to stay here to protect them." I ended filing a complaint against the officer. I have no idea what became of the complaint other than the officer in question stays away from my jobs.
     
  16. wittmeba

    wittmeba New Member

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    You would expect a LEO to be a little smarter than a BG and want to defend for his own life regardless of what he might be told to do. Unfortunately there is no law against being stupid. And you can't fix it.



    If you DON'T assume this you may be dead before realizing you were right in your assumption.

    And these actions by LE support the thoughts that they are treating everyone as a law-breaking criminal - which is wrong.
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2014