Court rules police can enter homes and confiscate guns without warrants or charges

From Police State USA:

MILWAUKEE, WI — The 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that it is not a violation of constitutional rights if police break down a citizen’s door, search the home, and confiscate firearms, so long that they believe it is in the citizen’s best interest.

The case started when:

A psychiatrist, Dr. Michelle Bentle, phoned police to report that a patient had expressed a suicidal thought during an outpatient appointment; the woman had received some bad news and privately expressed grief during a difficult appointment.

There’s more to the story; however to sum it up, during the subsequent nine hours, the patient called her doctor to say she was fine and therefore to call off the police harassment, nevertheless:

…police breached her door and accosted her.

The recorded 9-1-1 call documented Sutterfield’s voice demanding that police “let go of her and that they leave her home.” Instead, she was shackled and detained against her will.

Despite having no warrant, officers helped themselves to a “proactive sweep” of the woman’s home. During the search, police opened up a locked, opaque case and discovered her pistol. Officers seized the pistol, as well as a BB gun (physically incapable of taking a human life), and her Wisconsin CCW license.

Sutterfield was taken into police custody and to a hospital for a forced medical evaluation at the county’s Mental Health Complex; the state’s forced evaluations can last for as long as 72 hours.

Sutterfield filed a lawsuit against the police department, which was dismissed by a district judge. She appealed, however:

“Although the court had found it ‘likely’ that Sutterfield’s Fourth Amendment rights had been violated, the court discerned no basis to hold Milwaukee liable for the violation,” Judge Illana Rovner wrote for the three-judge panel on the 7th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals. She conceded that “the intrusions upon Sutterfield’s privacy were profound,” and noted, “at the core of the privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment is the right to be let alone in one’s home.”

Did you catch that? The judge stated, “The intrusions upon Sutterfield’s privacy were profound” and “at the core of the privacy protected by the Fourth Amendment is the right to be let alone in one’s home.” But who cares about constitutional rights?

However, since the court believed that the forced entry was done with Sutterfield’s best interests in mind, the circumstances were allowable under the 4th Amendment. Judge Rovner wrote, “There is no suggestion that (police) acted for any reason other than to protect Sutterfield from harm.”

“Even if the officers did exceed constitutional boundaries,” the court document states, “they are protected by qualified immunity.”

An officer’s motivation trumps the Bill of Rights? How can anyone still believe that Americans are living in a free society? Police officers illegally entered this woman’s house, shackled her, detained her for a forced psychiatric evaluation, and confiscated her legally possessed firearms. Is that what passes for freedom these days?

There’s more to the article and it’s worth reading. It ends with this analysis:

The federal ruling affirms a legal loophole which allows targeted home invasions, warrantless searches, and gun confiscations that rest entirely in the hands of the Executive Branch. The emergency aid doctrine enables police to act without a search warrant, even if there is time to get one. When the government wants to check on someone, his or her rights are essentially suspended until the person’s sanity has been forcibly validated.

They’ve trashed the Constitution. I fear that the seeming freedoms we still seem to possess are not truly valid. Rather, they may be a smokescreen to keep us calm as they unveil their agenda and eventually take our guns, the means our founding fathers gave us to protect ourselves from tyrants. May God help us.

2 thoughts on “Court rules police can enter homes and confiscate guns without warrants or charges”

  1. I think a person who is talking about suicide should not have a gun. How many of the mass shooters in recent years committed suicide after taking out as many as they could?

    What good does it do to protect a person’s right if so doing leads to their killing themselves? The police (whom I normally despise) may have saved her life.
    Does she have the right to take her life. I would say she does but that that should be the last resort, not a private act in which the police have no authority.

    The more disturbing issue is that this woman, who was suicidal (no one is “fine” hours after expressing suicidal thoughts), was allowed a gun license. Perhaps she was “fine” when she got the CCW license? Or perhaps there was just a lack of rational discriiantion based on mental health and proneness to violence.

    Does the public have a right to interfere in a suicide? Can the police violate your rights in order to protect you from harm? These are difficult questions. I think the ultimate answer is what Japan and the UK have discovered: that a nation without guns is much safer. Gun suicides are about 90% “successful.” The most common form of attempted suicide is drugs, which is “successful” in 3% of the cases, giving the person a second chance. Do the police have the right to take a gun from a suicidal person?

    I really don’t know. My solution is simple: disarm the citizens and the police. But people want to shoot me when I say this, tho it has created in Japan and the UK a 99% lower gun murder rate and an 80% lower overall murder rate. At the very least, we need universal background checks to filter out those who are criminal, violent, mentally ill, etc.

    Germany, which has many guns, has very strict laws like this and their gun murder rate is 95% lower than in the US.


    1. Harvard Study: Gun Control Is Counterproductive

      The study, which just appeared in Volume 30, Number 2 of the Harvard Journal of Law & Public Policy (pp. 649-694), set out to answer the question in its title: “Would Banning Firearms Reduce Murder and Suicide? A Review of International and Some Domestic Evidence.” Contrary to conventional wisdom, and the sniffs of our more sophisticated and generally anti-gun counterparts across the pond, the answer is “no.” And not just no, as in there is no correlation between gun ownership and violent crime, but an emphatic no, showing a negative correlation: as gun ownership increases, murder and suicide decreases…

      Nations with stringent anti-gun laws generally have substantially higher murder rates than those that do not. The study found that the nine European nations with the lowest rates of gun ownership (5,000 or fewer guns per 100,000 population) have a combined murder rate three times higher than that of the nine nations with the highest rates of gun ownership (at least 15,000 guns per 100,000 population)…

      [P]er capita murder overall is only half as frequent in the United States as in several other nations where gun murder is rarer, but murder by strangling, stabbing, or beating is much more frequent. (p. 663 – emphases in original)


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