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California: Amicus Brief Filed in Millender v. County of Los Angeles

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

On October 22, 2009, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the California Rifle and Pistol Association (CRPA) filed an amicus (friend of the court) brief in the case of Millender v. County of Los Angeles, et al. (07-55518).  The case is pending en banc hearing before a 12 judge panel in the Ninth Circuit United States Court of Appeals.  A copy of the brief is posted at www.calgunlaws.com.

No right is more clearly established under the Fourth Amendment than the right not to be subject to search and seizure under a general 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). Furthermore, as the Second Amendment makes clear, firearms are lawful to possess and may not be seized without probable cause to believe that a specific firearm was used in a crime.

The NRA/CRPA amicus brief challenges the ability of law enforcement to write over-broad “general” search warrants which allow police to seize any and all firearms an individual may possess, even when police only have “probable cause” to search for a particular firearm.  Far too often police seize legal firearms collections even when most of those firearms are not alleged to be part of a criminal offense.  This is sometimes driven by a political motivation to increase gun seizure statistics so police can seek increased funding.

This deprivation of property often results in damage to the firearms and inevitably causes the owner to incur significant expense and legal fees in retrieving the firearms. The purpose of the NRA/CRPA brief is to convince the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals to publish a binding precedent to prevent these search and seizure abuses in the future.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.