In 2006, police in Collin County, Texas forcibly invaded the home of John Quinn without knocking or announcing who they were or why they were there. They had obtained a warrant for Quinn’s son on drug related crimes. County police believed that John Quinn owned guns, one of which may have been an AK-47 and that those guns were in the house at the time of the raid. Fearing a possible dangerous confrontation with firearms, they chose to ignore the Fourth Amendment rights of search and seizure and executed a no-knock raid on the home.
When police suddenly and unannounced burst through Quinn’s door, he thought he was being attacked by intruders and instinctively reached for his firearm, which he legally owned. The police then reacted and shot and wounded Quinn. When the search had been conducted, police found less than one gram of cocaine, but charged Quinn with possession.
Quinn filed a lawsuit against the police claiming that the no-knock raid was an illegal search and seizure, a violation of his Fourth Amendment rights. If the police had knocked and announced themselves, chances are Quinn would not have been shot. The Rutherford Institute took up Quinn’s case claiming that his exercise of his Second Amendment rights should not be an excuse to violate his Fourth Amendment rights.
So far, all of the lower courts and courts of appeal have rejected Quinn’s defense. John W. Whitehead, President of the Rutherford Institute commented about the case, saying:
“Whatever the issue might be, whether it’s mass surveillance, no-knock raids, or the right to freely express one’s views about the government, we’ve moved into a new age in which the rights of the citizenry are being treated as a secondary concern by the White House, Congress, the courts, and their vast holding of employees, including law enforcement officials. The disconnect, of course, is that the Constitution establishes a far different scenario in which government officials, including the police, are accountable to ‘we the people.’ For it to be otherwise, for government concerns to trump individual freedoms, with government officials routinely sidestepping the Constitution and reinterpreting the law to their own purposes, makes a mockery of everything this nation is supposed to stand for—self-government, justice, and the rule of law.”
Whitehead and the Rutherford Institute have now petitioned the US Supreme Court to hear their case of Second Amendment versus Fourth Amendment. In their petition, they argue:
“…in the absence of any evidence of actual danger to police, the legal possession of a firearm, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment, is not sufficient to justify allowing police to override the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unannounced “no-knock” home invasions when executing warrants.”
If the US Supreme Court refuses to hear the case, then police across the nation will be able to use this case, Quinn v. State of Texas, to say that they felt threatened every time they go to serve a warrant on anyone who legally owns a firearm. I could see Obama’s Gestapo agenda use this against every legal gun owner, using trumped up charges to conduct no-knock raids and confiscate our guns. This has already happened once after Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans and could easily happen again everywhere.