Wednesday, July 13, 2011

SCOTUS Grants Review in Firearm Search Warrant Case

The Fourth Amendment guarantees our right to not be subjected to search and seizure under a “general” search warrant (i.e., a warrant not based on probable cause and not particularly describing the place to be searched and the person or thing to be seized).

Firearms are generally lawful to possess, and usually may not be seized without probable cause that a specific firearm was used in a crime. On August 24, 2010, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals in Millender v. County of Los Angeles, et al. (07-55518), confirmed that a general search warrant requesting the seizure of “all handguns, rifles or shotguns of any caliber, or any firearms capable of firing ammunition…” was unconstitutional when the police who sought the warrant were aware they were actually searching for just one specific firearm.

The National Rifle Association (NRA) and the California Rifle and Pistol Association Foundation (CRPAF) argued this point in an amicus (friend of the court) brief filed in the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals on behalf of the Mrs. Millender. A copy of the brief, along with the opinion, other case related briefs, and memorandum analyzing the opinion is posted at

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