Supreme Court To Decide Whether Police Can Enter Homes Without Warrant To Seize Guns


The US Supreme Court is set to rule on a Fourth Amendment case which will determine whether police or any other government official can enter one’s home with a warrant to seize guns under limited exceptions.

The Fourth Amendment protects citizens from unreasonable searches and seizures, and requires authorities obtain a search warrant supported by probable cause.

There are a few limited exceptions to this right, according to Forbes contributor Evan Gerstmann:

There is an “exigent circumstances” exception. If a police officer looks through a home’s window and sees a person about to stab another person, the officer can burst through the door to prevent the attack. There is also the “emergency aid” exception. If the officer looked through the same window and saw the resident collapsing from an apparent heart attack, the officer could run into the house to administer aid. Neither of these cases violates the Fourth Amendment and few would argue that it should be otherwise. 

However, there is a broader cousin to these exceptions called the “community caretaking” exception. It derives from a case in which the police took a gun out of the trunk of an impounded vehicle without first obtaining a warrant.

The Supreme Court previously held that there is a community caretaking exception since police perform “community caretaking functions, totally divorced from the detection, investigation, or acquisition of evidence relating to the violation of a criminal statute,” and that police activity conducted under this exception don’t violate the Fourth Amendment as long as they are done in a “reasonable” manner. – READ MORE

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