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http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/03/dismissal_of_gun-rights_suit_u.html

A federal judge correctly dismissed a lawsuit against the city of New Orleans by a man who claimed that local law-enforcement authorities violated his constitutional right to bear arms, a divided panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. With the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, Errol Houston Jr. sued after the Orleans Parish district attorney's office refused to return a registered gun that police seized when he was arrested in 2008 on drug and firearms charges that were later dropped.

U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey dismissed the claims in December 2010, saying Houston failed to allege sufficient facts to show how authorities violated his right to bear arms by retaining his pistol.

In its majority opinion, a three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit said some regulation of firearms falls outside the reach of the Second Amendment, just as obscenity and defamation aren't protected as free speech by the First Amendment.

"The right protected by the Second Amendment is not a property-like right to a specific firearm, but rather a right to keep and bear arms for self-defense," Judge Rhesa Hawkins Barksdale wrote.

In her dissenting opinion, however, Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod said she disagrees with the majority's conclusion that the Second Amendment doesn't protect an individual's right to a specific firearm unless the government has prevented that person from acquiring others.

Elrod argued the majority impermissibly treated the Second Amendment as a "second-class right" by carving out an exception.

"It is particularly unfortunate for our circuit to endorse the atextual, ahistorical rule that the Second Amendment does not protect particular firearms," she wrote.

Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana, praised Elrod's dissent and said the group would weigh its options, including asking the entire 5th Circuit to review the case.

"Sure, (Houston) could go buy another firearm, but he shouldn't have to because he already owns one," Esman said.

Houston sued the city, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro and former Police Superintendent Warren Riley in July 2009, nearly a year after Cannizzaro's predecessor dropped the charges against him stemming from a traffic stop.

Houston claimed Cannizzaro's office had a policy of retaining firearms following arrests regardless of whether charges are filed. During an interview in 2009, Cannizzaro said his office decides on a "case by case basis" whether to return confiscated guns.

"There is no policy that we will not return weapons," he said.

Michael Kunzelman of The Associated Press wrote this report.
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
http://www.nola.com/crime/index.ssf/2012/03/dismissal_of_gun-rights_suit_u.html

A federal judge correctly dismissed a lawsuit against the city of New Orleans by a man who claimed that local law-enforcement authorities violated his constitutional right to bear arms, a divided panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday. With the backing of the American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana, Errol Houston Jr. sued after the Orleans Parish district attorney's office refused to return a registered gun that police seized when he was arrested in 2008 on drug and firearms charges that were later dropped.

U.S. District Judge Jay Zainey dismissed the claims in December 2010, saying Houston failed to allege sufficient facts to show how authorities violated his right to bear arms by retaining his pistol.

In its majority opinion, a three-judge panel from the 5th Circuit said some regulation of firearms falls outside the reach of the Second Amendment, just as obscenity and defamation aren't protected as free speech by the First Amendment.

"The right protected by the Second Amendment is not a property-like right to a specific firearm, but rather a right to keep and bear arms for self-defense," Judge Rhesa Hawkins Barksdale wrote.

In her dissenting opinion, however, Judge Jennifer Walker Elrod said she disagrees with the majority's conclusion that the Second Amendment doesn't protect an individual's right to a specific firearm unless the government has prevented that person from acquiring others.

Elrod argued the majority impermissibly treated the Second Amendment as a "second-class right" by carving out an exception.

"It is particularly unfortunate for our circuit to endorse the atextual, ahistorical rule that the Second Amendment does not protect particular firearms," she wrote.

Marjorie Esman, executive director of the ACLU of Louisiana, praised Elrod's dissent and said the group would weigh its options, including asking the entire 5th Circuit to review the case.

"Sure, (Houston) could go buy another firearm, but he shouldn't have to because he already owns one," Esman said.

Houston sued the city, District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro and former Police Superintendent Warren Riley in July 2009, nearly a year after Cannizzaro's predecessor dropped the charges against him stemming from a traffic stop.

Houston claimed Cannizzaro's office had a policy of retaining firearms following arrests regardless of whether charges are filed. During an interview in 2009, Cannizzaro said his office decides on a "case by case basis" whether to return confiscated guns.

"There is no policy that we will not return weapons," he said.

Michael Kunzelman of The Associated Press wrote this report.
 

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Incredible!

I don't know the specifics of the situation which lead to this individuals arrest but if they didn't have enough to make it stick and get a conviction then I don't see how the arrest alone should become the basis for a violation of his property rights. If he's free to purchase another firearm what is the justification for the authorities to hold his property? It makes no sense.
 

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Incredible!

I don't know the specifics of the situation which lead to this individuals arrest but if they didn't have enough to make it stick and get a conviction then I don't see how the arrest alone should become the basis for a violation of his property rights. If he's free to purchase another firearm what is the justification for the authorities to hold his property? It makes no sense.
 

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I hope they petition for an en banc hearing before the entire Fifth Circuit.
 

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Gun Enthusiast
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I hope they petition for an en banc hearing before the entire Fifth Circuit.
 

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"Houston claimed Cannizzaro's office had a policy of retaining firearms following arrests regardless of whether charges are filed. During an interview in 2009, Cannizzaro said his office decides on a "case by case basis" whether to return confiscated guns."

So they admit they take & keep citizen's property even when no charges are filed....

Then... ""There is no policy that we will not return weapons," he said."

Uhh... Katrina? They still haven't returned illegally confiscated guns...
 

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"Houston claimed Cannizzaro's office had a policy of retaining firearms following arrests regardless of whether charges are filed. During an interview in 2009, Cannizzaro said his office decides on a "case by case basis" whether to return confiscated guns."

So they admit they take & keep citizen's property even when no charges are filed....

Then... ""There is no policy that we will not return weapons," he said."

Uhh... Katrina? They still haven't returned illegally confiscated guns...
 

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Sharp Shooter!
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NO GUN BIAS HERE -

A federal judge correctly dismissed a lawsuit

Who is this putz? Is he even a US Citizen? Even a little knowledge abour the Constitution? ARGG!

Michael Kunzelman of The Associated Press wrote this report.
 

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Sharp Shooter!
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400 Posts
NO GUN BIAS HERE -

A federal judge correctly dismissed a lawsuit

Who is this putz? Is he even a US Citizen? Even a little knowledge abour the Constitution? ARGG!

Michael Kunzelman of The Associated Press wrote this report.
 

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Lousy Shot
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WWCDLINY said:
NO GUN BIAS HERE -

A federal judge correctly dismissed a lawsuit

Who is this putz? Is he even a US Citizen? Even a little knowledge abour the Constitution? ARGG!

Michael Kunzelman of The Associated Press wrote this report.
Read the first sentence carefully again. It's not stated as fact or concurrence. But the way it's worded does indicate bias; as if the last part - "a divided panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday." - is secondary. That part should have been at the beginning. That is the news.
 

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Lousy Shot
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16,248 Posts
WWCDLINY said:
NO GUN BIAS HERE -

A federal judge correctly dismissed a lawsuit

Who is this putz? Is he even a US Citizen? Even a little knowledge abour the Constitution? ARGG!

Michael Kunzelman of The Associated Press wrote this report.
Read the first sentence carefully again. It's not stated as fact or concurrence. But the way it's worded does indicate bias; as if the last part - "a divided panel from the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled Wednesday." - is secondary. That part should have been at the beginning. That is the news.
 
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