In a case argued in front of the Supreme Court, that could affect Red Flag laws across the country, SCOTUS ruled unanimously that the “community caretaking” exception does not apply inside the home.
Caniglia v. Strom centers around the police seizing the firearms of a man that his wife reported as suicidal. The incident that led to the issue started when Edward and Kim Caniglia began to have marital problems in their 27-year long marriage…
Police told Mrs. Caniglia to stay in the car. They found Mr. Caniglia sitting on the back porch. They talked to him, and he assured them that he wasn’t suicidal. One of the officers said Mr. Caniglia appeared completely normal but was upset because the police became involved in the dispute. The officers wanted him to go to the hospital for a mental evaluation.
Mr. Caniglia was hesitant because he believed the officers would seize his guns if he did, but the officers agreed not to take his firearms. The officers had him transported to the hospital via ambulance. Once gone, the police did what they promised Mr. Caniglia that they would not do. They entered his home and searched for guns. The officers seized two handguns, magazines, and ammunition without a warrant. They claimed to have used the “community caretaking” exception.
When Mr. Caniglia returned home, he found out police seized his guns without a warrant and did not leave him with any way to retrieve his firearms. When he tried to get the guns back, the police refused to turn over the man’s property. He would have to sue to get them back.
He claimed that police violated his Fourth Amendment rights and his right to due process. The case made its way through the courts. President Joe Biden strongly supported the actions of the police. President Biden has been pushing Congress to pass a national “red flag” law.
SCOTUS rejected the notion that police could take someone’s guns without due process. Read more…