Can Police Seize a Gun over an Alleged Threat?

Posted on March 15, 2013. Filed under: Police State, United States Constitution |

A friend of mine and I have been arguing about this news story.

N.J. mother arrested after reading Constitution starts legal defense fund

which is a follow up to this story:

N.J. taxpayers under the gun? Franklin woman charged after alleged gun threats at tax meeting

At issue between us is this sentence near the end of the story:

English: A Smith & Wesson Military & Police ha...

A Smith & Wesson Military & Police handgun chambered in .40 S&W. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hart said she was told while she was in custody that she would have to hand over her two guns, a .357-caliber Smith & Wesson revolver and a .40-caliber Glock, for safekeeping in order to keep a judge from setting bail too high for her family to pay.

It seems to me that the Eighth Amendment specifically forbids this:

Excessive bail shall not be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted.

By confiscating her guns, they violate her rights under the Fifth Amendment:

No person shall … be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law;

If she is taken before a judge and the judge determines that her handguns must be confiscated, I wouldn’t have as much of an issue with it, but I have a major issue with the cops coming along and confiscating them.

The guns are not evidence. No crime was committed with the weapons, nor were they used during the commission of a crime, merely an alleged threat made. A threat that Mrs. Hart denies ever making:

“I have the right to air my grievances against the government in a public setting. I’ve never threatened anyone a day in my life.”

I’m not making the obvious Second Amendment argument for a reason. That’s too easy, but I really don’t think the Second is at issue here.

Early in the story, it says that Mrs. Hart was charged with making terroristic threats. I said earlier today that the government today thinks it can do anything as long as it slaps the word “terrorism” on it.

Of course, if she did make threats, then she should get the punishment she deserves.

She is still  innocent until proven guilty, at least for now.

 

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