The Supreme Court gave a huge victory to conservatives on gun rights Monday as it ruled that seizing firearms while being suspected of suicidal thoughts is not constitutional.
The case was about Edward Caniglia, whose guns were taken by Rhode Island police after a request from his wife. Caniglia and his wife argued the night before, when he expressed a desire to be killed by her with his gun.
By ruling in favor of Caniglia, the high court took note of an exception to the “community caretaking” exception to the Fourth Amendment, and said that the doctrine should not be applied to homes.
Justice Clarence Thomas wrote in his opinion: “The very foundation of the Fourth Amendment’s protection is the ability of a person to retreat inside his home and ‘be free from unreasonable government intrusion.’… A recognition of ‘community caretaking,’ like giving aid to motorists, is not an open-ended license that applies anywhere.”
Second Amendment activists rejoiced at this ruling, thanking the Supreme Court for the ruling:
President Biden, however, is not happy. The Biden administration filed a brief with the High Court asking it to uphold the lower court’s ruling. The administration’s brief argued that warrants are not “presumptively required when an official’s actions are grounded in a non-investigatory manner, like safety or health.”
Unfortunately, as Justice Samuel Alito admitted in his statement, this will not impact future red flag gun seizure cases, but he offered that they “might be challenged using the Fourth Amendment.”
Author: Scott Dowdy