Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN News

No Charges Filed, But Legal Firearms Confiscated Anyway

Friday, December 11, 2015

No Charges Filed, But Legal Firearms Confiscated Anyway

We've raised concerns before about how proposed "gun violence restraining orders" and similar firearm surrender orders can be abused and issued in cases where the police lack sufficient evidence for an arrest and simply wish to deprive an individual of the right to bear arms, and on how difficult it can be to get property back after the government seizes it. These concerns are magnified when such seizure procedures originate not from judicially authorized orders, but from the considerably more opaque processes within law enforcement.

It’s perhaps no surprise that one such confiscation policy surfaces in Nassau County, New York.  As we reported on in September and October, this is the same jurisdiction where the Acting District Attorney implemented and then rescinded a personnel policy that banned Nassau County prosecutors from having handguns, even at home.  Evidently, Nassau County takes every opportunity to chill the freedoms of its citizens. 

The confiscation policy, Nassau County Police Department (NCPD) Department Procedure OPS 10023, Removal and Disposition of Weapons – Domestic Incidents/Threats to Public Safety, authorizes the confiscation of lawful firearms during “domestic incidents,” but goes further. It empowers law enforcement officers to confiscate legally possessed guns when these can be viewed as “creat[ing] a threat of violence” or any “threat to public safety” at all. Once confiscated, the firearm cannot be returned to its owner where the reviewing police officer finds the owner “has a relevant Nassau County arrest history” (whatever that may be), or where “other extenuating circumstances” exist which indicate the gun “should not be returned” (whatever these may be).

A recent court case serves as an illustration of the policy in action.

The plaintiff, Andrew Carroll, shared a home with his mother. She had a basement apartment and he lived upstairs. In September 2014, while he was at work, she removed his AR-15 rifle from his apartment “as collateral” for $50 that she claimed he owed her. After Carroll called the police, NCPD officers not only confiscated the rifle from the mother’s apartment, but also seized two other long guns and a magazine belonging to Carroll and found in the house. Officers taking his guns advised these would be returned by the end of the night if no criminal charges were filed. The guns were not returned and another officer later confirmed that the NCPD had decided to “keep the guns.” A NCPD receipt warned that confiscated firearms were liable to be destroyed one year from the date of seizure. Significantly, Carroll was the complainant who called the police, and appears to have been fully cooperative. At no time was he subject to an order of protection or in any other way disqualified from possessing or owning a firearm. No criminal charges – against his mother or Carroll – were filed. There are no indications that the incident involved the infliction or alleged infliction of physical injury, or the use or threatened use of a deadly weapon by Carroll or anyone else.

After weeks passed without the confiscated guns being returned (even after an in-person request), Carroll resorted to a federal lawsuit against the police and Nassau County, initiated six months after his guns were taken away. His lawsuit alleged violations of the Second Amendment and other constitutional rights, and sought an injunction to prevent the NCPD from further retaining (or destroying) his guns, and from continuing to enforce its firearm confiscation policy in cases that lacked criminal, domestic violence, or order of protection elements.

Nassau County responded, initially, by claiming that Carroll had failed to comply with additional documentation requirements, being a letter “detailing the incident” that led to the confiscation of his guns and why his guns should be returned to him, the signature of his mother and “anyone else residing” with Carroll, and “his plan to fully secure the guns.” Interestingly, as the court points out, no provision of the confiscation policy required Carroll to supply this “undocumented” documentation as a precondition to the NCPD returning his property, and there was no proof that this information had even been previously requested, or when.

The court, however, declined to grant the preliminary injunctive relief Carroll sought at this stage. The District Judge concluded that any injury suffered by Carroll would be compensable by money damages once the lawsuit was heard on the merits. As for preventing future enforcement violations arising from the policy, the judge concluded there was insufficient evidence to show that such violations were likely to occur. “[O]n the record before it, the Court is unable to conclude that the Department’s Confiscation Policy is being regularly applied in an unconstitutional manner, so as to require immediate cessation.” Pending further action in this lawsuit, the court declined to order the NCPD to return Carroll’s confiscated firearms or to take steps to prevent their destruction. The case is Carroll v. Krumpter, which can be found her
e.

TRENDING NOW
Washington Post Employs Deceptive Tactic on “Children” and Guns

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Washington Post Employs Deceptive Tactic on “Children” and Guns

The Washington Post has surpassed the Brady Campaign and Michael Bloomberg’s Everytown for Gun Safety to take a place alongside the New York Times as the premier anti-gun propagandists in the country.

Gun Control Lobby Seeks to Thwart SHARE Act with Hysteria, Fear Mongering

News  

Hunting  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Gun Control Lobby Seeks to Thwart SHARE Act with Hysteria, Fear Mongering

The panic is now starting to set in amongst the gun control lobby, which is desperately searching for ways to smear a bill that has been around for years in various forms without attracting much ...

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Wednesday, September 20, 2017

Reuniting The United States With Reciprocity

Most concealed-carry permit holders understand the potential pitfalls of traveling with a firearm, given the outrageous patchwork of state laws involved in even a short interstate trip. And while we haven’t posted much about reciprocity ...

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Throws Wrench in Anti-gun Agenda

News  

Friday, September 8, 2017

Wall Street Journal/NBC News Poll Throws Wrench in Anti-gun Agenda

Demonstrating the importance of the gun issue to the American electorate, 35 percent of respondents reported that “gun rights or gun control” had an impact on their voting behavior. The issue was the highest-rated answer, ...

Anti-Gun Politicians: Blocking Out The Facts About Suppressors

Hunting  

Thursday, September 21, 2017

Anti-Gun Politicians: Blocking Out The Facts About Suppressors

As soon as the Hearing Protection Act was put forward on Jan. 9, 2017, leftists came out of the woodwork to criticize and misconstrue the goals of those who supported removing suppressors from the auspices ...

Rhode Island:  House Gives Final Approval to Gun Control Bill

Friday, September 22, 2017

Rhode Island: House Gives Final Approval to Gun Control Bill

House Speaker Nicholas Mattiello summoned lawmakers back to Providence in a rare September session, and the House passed an anti-gun bill Tuesday afternoon.  The session had abruptly ended in June with the budget and a ...

UK: Growing Support for Arming More Police

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

UK: Growing Support for Arming More Police

The UK’s fear of firearms, and potential weapons of all kinds, is well-documented. Subjects are urged not to carry any item, such as pepper spray, that might be adapted for self-defense. Officers take to social media to boast of ...

Long Term Trends in Gun Sales Remain Strong

News  

Friday, September 22, 2017

Long Term Trends in Gun Sales Remain Strong

Discussion of the state of the firearms industry began again with the release of the August NICS numbers. Allegations of a fading industry recur every month. Obama was the greatest gun salesman ever, Hillary Clinton ...

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

National Reciprocity Bill Nears Goal Line in the House but Needs Your Support to Reach the End Zone

Gun owners received good news this week with the passage of the SHARE Act by the U.S. House Committee on Natural Resources (see related story). Meanwhile, progress continued to be made on another NRA legislative ...

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

Hunting  

News  

Friday, September 15, 2017

House Committee Passes SHARE Act by Wide Margin

As we have reported, this year’s version of the SHARE Act is the most expansive and far-reaching yet. Besides previously-introduced provisions aimed at enhancing opportunities for hunting, fishing, and shooting and broadening access to federal lands ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

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.