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Suit Against SAFE Act Claims it Allows ‘Warrantless’ Police Searches
Washington Business Journal ^ | 4/9/2014 | Mary Lou Byrd

Posted on 04/10/2014 4:50:06 AM PDT by markomalley

The registry process of New York’s SAFE Act allows for warrantless police searches into gun owners’ homes, a violation of the Fourth Amendment, according to plaintiffs of a lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court Eastern District.

The law firm representing plaintiff Gabriel Razzano argues the registry process is “essentially secret and results in a mandatory, warrantless Penal Law 400 gun removal visit from police.”

“The entire purpose of the registry is a sham to permit intrusions into a person’s home on consent without a warrant for a ‘gun removal,’” La Reddola, Lester and Associates said in a release. “The entire registry and database seek to justify warrantless police searches, which my client and I now believe to be the real purpose of the SAFE Act.”

The suit points to Fourth Amendment violations that could easily occur under the SAFE Act.

The attorneys argue under the Federal National Instant Check System a person who is declared ineligible for a firearm purchase faces some type of legal process. However, that is not the case with the SAFE Act, which was signed into law last year by Gov. Andrew Cuomo.

Under the SAFE Act, the New York Department of Criminal Justice (NYDCJ), the overseer of the database, may declare a person ineligible to own or possess a weapon without any type of judicial process.

Furthermore, the suit argues that if the NYDCJ declares a person ineligible, “such a determination makes the person vulnerable to imminent seizure of all weapons, without a hearing or even an arrest warrant.”

The attorneys indicate the state is creating a separate database from the federal NICS database but does not have the NICS protections, such as an appeals process. Their website details all the differences between the state and federal database.

Pro-Second Amendment groups are supportive of the suit.

“SCOPE [the Shooters Committee on Political Education] is fully in support of the Razzano case. It rightly presents issues that we have been raising since the passage of the so called NY SAFE Act,” said Stephen Aldstadt, president of SCOPE, in an email to the Washington Free Beacon.

“Not only does this law infringe on the Second Amendment protected right to keep and bear arms, it violates numerous rights that the Bill of Rights purports to protect. The NY SAFE Act violates the Fourth Amendment protection against unreasonable search and seizures, the Fifth Amendment protection against self-incrimination, and the Fourteenth Amendment’s due process and equal protection clause,” said Aldstadt.

Aldstadt pointed out that the law has been opposed by 52 county legislatures.

SCOPE Chairman of the Board Budd Schroeder said the registry “should be delayed forever.”

“My opinion is, in a free society guns should not be registered,” Schroeder said. He indicated registered guns in New York City and California are now being confiscated. “History has proven that the registration of guns leads to the confiscation of guns.”

This is Razzano’s second case involving the illegal removal of firearms by police. In his first case, Razzano v. Nassau County, Razzano lost his pistol license, but sued for the return of his rifles and shotguns after they were removed under Penal Law 400.

That case held that Razzano was entitled to a hearing. The county argued that since the police were not at the home to make an arrest, no search warrant was needed for the Penal Law 400 gun removal. The judge disagreed with the county and ruled that a law-abiding homeowner in a gun removal situation is entitled to protection under the Fourth Amendment.

Attorneys for Razzano say flaws exist in the registry and database and “easily could be abused to avoid a search warrant.” In addition, they indicate that being declared “ineligible” under the NYDCJ system is “too vague” a standard.

The attorneys said a warrant should be instituted prior to any police being sent to a person’s home to remove guns. Some judicial oversight is also needed.

Several bills seeking to repeal the SAFE Act were squashed in committee two days ago. New York State Rifle and Pistol Association (NYSRPA) President Thomas King announced that all bills calling for the repeal of the SAFE Act were killed in the Democrat-dominated Codes Committee and would not be brought to the assembly floor for a vote.

King said there is ongoing NYSRPA litigation against the SAFE Act to overturn the law in the courts.

TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Extended News; Government; US: New York
KEYWORDS: 2a; andrewcuomo; banglist; billdeblasio; chirlanemccray; newyork; newyorkcity; nysafe; nysrpa; rtkaba; safe

1 posted on 04/10/2014 4:50:07 AM PDT by markomalley
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To: markomalley

Same song, second verse.

When the rulers go mad, there is no safety.

2 posted on 04/10/2014 4:57:43 AM PDT by Pikachu_Dad (Impeach Sen Quinn)
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To: markomalley

It’s called search and seizure....Didn’t we go through this before?? Let’s call the Queen and ask her how that worked out.

3 posted on 04/10/2014 5:01:57 AM PDT by Sacajaweau
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To: Pikachu_Dad
One must give liberals credit; they never give up, they never surrender. They want our guns and will try anything to get them. Once they have our guns the "sky is the limit" "anything goes" any act of government terror will be available to them.

My theory is that leftists know they are against most American public opinion, traditions and/or values. Therefore they want absolute control out of fear. In short, the left passes these laws out of fear. They are afraid of the people they govern.

4 posted on 04/10/2014 5:06:11 AM PDT by AEMILIUS PAULUS (It is a shame that when these people give a riot)
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To: Sacajaweau

Yep - the Brits wanted their tories to have the right to bear arms, but not American Patriots.

Tories then = govt now

Even tories had the right to bear arms in 1777=
“1777 April “11th the Country people daily escaping thro the Rebels and coming in with their arms.” p421” Montresor`s Journal”

5 posted on 04/10/2014 5:55:30 AM PDT by bunkerhill7 ("The Second Amendment has no limits on firepower"-NY State Senator Kathleen A. Marchione.")
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To: markomalley

Must be a model for El-Presidente.

6 posted on 04/10/2014 7:16:42 AM PDT by (How many more children must die on the altar of gun control?)
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To: markomalley

We’re hoping that thugs who are intentionally trampling the Second Amendment will back off when we point out that the thugs are also trampling the Fourth Amendment? While I admire unrestrained optimism, it worries me when someone is that disconnected from reality.

7 posted on 04/10/2014 8:32:48 AM PDT by Pollster1 ("Shall not be infringed" is unambiguous.)
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