Does 2nd Amendment trump 4th Amendment?

Police violate search standards thinking home had guns

From by Bob Unruh, December 24, 2014

So the question remains whether police, who admit their only reason for the no-knock raid was the suspicion that a rifle might be present in the home, were justified in their decision to abandon procedures and break into the home without warning.

That’s the subject of the Fourth Amendment, which states: “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, against unreasonably searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.”

The petition asks that the court establish that an individual’s exercise of his Second Amendment right to possess a firearm in his residence does not deprive him of his Fourth Amendment protection against “no-knock” searches.

Because the raid was without warning late at night, Quinn reached for his legally owned firearm when the break-in occurred, thinking that criminals were at hand. He was shot by police and hospitalized because he reached for his weapon.

The case briefs argue that the Supreme Court never has held that suspected possession of firearms is sufficient cause to justify a no-knock entry.

The briefs also have criticized earlier court comments about the AK-47.

“The [court] seems to think than an ‘AK-47′ rifle is some sort of ‘exceptionally’ dangerous weapon. Actually, despite the faux mystique surrounding that particular type of rifle fostered by popular media, the AK-47 is not uniquely dangerous,” a footnote in the brief explains. “It is the most-used rifle in the world because there are 100 million of them, it is cheap to make and easy to repair, and because it can be chambered for a wide variety of calibers.

“When chambered for .223 caliber … it is no more dangerous than any other .223 caliber rifle such as the AR-15 – the most widely used hunting rifle in the U.S. today,” the footnote says.

“As a gun collector who prudently kept his legally owned collection safely secured in gun vaults, it was altogether possible that Mr. Quinn could have had a large number of guns in his home and no ammunition. The point here is not to argue that ‘possession’ of guns does not roughly or usually equate to possession of ‘working’ guns. The point is: an AK-47 is no more powerful – and is indeed less powerful – than many common hunting rifles.

“The police, being weapons experts, obviously knew this – but testified about the ‘dangerous’ nature of this particular gun because they knew the jury would have heard of it in the media and would know about its mystique as the weapon of choice for terrorists around the world. Clever, but misleading.”

The petition warns Americans that merely the “suspicion” that a gun is present could prompt contacts from police to be the “break-down-the-door and charge in” type if the Texas case is not overturned.

“After all, if no-knock entries are thought to be ‘safer’ for police than knocking and announcing, what could possibly incite police to ever knock? Safety can only be endangered by dangerous people,” the case argues.

“Petitioner requests this court issue a blanket, logical rule stating that suspected presence of firearms alone is never sufficient to overcome the knock-and-announce rule, and unless the police suspect that the persons involved might be dangerous, based on specific, articulable facts, then knock and announce is required under the Fourth Amendment.”


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