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Knock! Knock! Cops want to search your home for your lost, forgotten guns

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Do you know where your guns are located? If not, don’t worry! The police have offered to search your home in order to help you find them.

Earlier this week, Wisconsin Public Radio published a story about a police initiative in Beloit, Wisconsin, to reduce gun violence. The police department has offered to search a resident’s home — for free — to see if their home contains any guns that they, the home owner, may not know about.

No, this story isn’t from April, and this is not a joke.

Beloit Police Chief Norm Jacobs actually thinks this is a good idea. His hope is that some residents will volunteer to have their homes searched and that guns related to crimes will be found. He also likened gun violence to Ebola.

From the story:

Police Chief Norm Jacobs said he doesn’t expect the phone to be ringing off the hook with requests for police to search their homes. He nevertheless hopes the program will encourage people to think about gun violence as an infectious disease like Ebola, and a home inspection like a vaccine to help build up the city’s immune system.

“Gun violence is as serious as the Ebola virus is being represented in the media, and we should fight it using the tools that we’ve learned from our health providers,”

Yes, you read that correctly. He compared “gun violence” to Ebola.

Aside from be being one of the most unrealistic ways to prevent firearm related deaths, who does Chief Jacobs expect to participate in this program? Criminals, law abidiing citizens, corrupt government officials?

If Chief Jacobs is under the impression that John Q. Criminal is going to subject his house to a voluntary search by law enforcement, then I think it’s time we start drug testing every officer on the Beloit Police force, starting with Chief Jacobs.

This initiative is silly. The Fourth Amendment protects Americans from unlawful searches; however, an invitation by a homeowner to allow a police officer to search their home essentially waives that right. What if an officer finds drugs or other illegal paraphenalia? What if the officer suspects the homeowner is an unfit parent? And perhaps the most glaring question, who forgets they own a gun in the first place?

Has anyone ever stashed a gun away in a box of Cheerios, forgotten it was there, and had to have the police find it?

Those Americans who value liberty and privacy know this but it deserves re-stating: Don’t allow a law enforcement official into your home without a warrant. Illegal or improper searches — even by your friendly neighborhood cop just trying to find your lost guns — give the law enforcement arm of hte state more power than they should have.


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