The Biden administration argued in an amicus brief on Wednesday to the U.S. Supreme Court that police should be able to remove guns from a person’s home without a warrant — disturbing news for anyone hoping to take advantage of their Second Amendment right to bear arms.
The brief filed in the case for Caniglia v. Strom writes “the ultimate touchstone of the Fourth Amendment is ‘reasonableness,’” and claims there should be no need for a warrant when “a government official’s action is objectively grounded in a non-investigatory public interest, such as health or safety.”
The case involves 68-year-old Edward Caniglia, who joked to his wife Kim that he never uses a coffee mug his brother-in-law had used out of fear he “might catch a case of dishonesty.” He then set a handgun on their table and told his wife to “shoot me and get me out of my misery.”
His wife later called the police Police who removed two guns from the home based on a Fourth Amendment action known as “community caretaking” to justify their actions that day. The Fourth Amendment, however, does not specifically address the case of private homes.
The case will be heard by the Supreme Court. Caniglia’s attorney’s argue “extending the community caretaking exception to homes would be anathema to the Fourth Amendment.”
A joint amicus brief filed by the ACLU, the Cato Institute and the American Conservative Union argue that the community caretaking exception has been used for “everything from loud music to leaky pipes have been used to justify warrantless invasion of the home.”
The case comes as the nation has faced two mass shootings in the past week. A shooter in the Atlanta, Georgia, area killed eight people, including six Asian Americas, at three massage spas.
A Boulder, Colorado, shooting led to the deaths of 10 people outside of a grocery store. The victims included one police officer who responded to the crime.
Democrats are pushing President Joe Biden to sign an executive order to tighten gun control laws, with unsuccessful attempts in Congress. Biden has spoken out against gun violence, but has yet to sign a gun-related executive order, choosing now to support a Supreme Court case through the administration’s amicus brief.