Taking Advantage of a Shift in the Landscape, Caniglia v. Strom

The Roberts Court, April 23, 2021
Seated from left to right: Justices Samuel A. Alito, Jr. and Clarence Thomas, Chief Justice John G. Roberts, Jr., and Justices Stephen G. Breyer and Sonia Sotomayor
Standing from left to right: Justices Brett M. Kavanaugh, Elena Kagan, Neil M. Gorsuch, and Amy Coney Barrett.
Photograph by Fred Schilling, Collection of the Supreme Court of the United States

United States – -(AmmoLand.com)- The Supreme Court’s ruling in Caniglia v. Strom could be a boon to Second Amendment supporters concerned about so-called “red flag” laws. In a unanimous ruling centered on the Fourth Amendment’s protection against unreasonable searches and seizures, the Supreme Court has now offered the chance to, at the very least, force reforms in those laws, if not outright block them.

This brief opinion authored by Associate Justice Clarence Thomas – it runs a grand total of four pages – laid the smackdown on the First Circuit. The concurring opinions are also noteworthy, as they seem to set some boundaries on what “reasonable” searches in the home are.

For instance, the concurring opinion of John Roberts, often seen as “mushy” in recent years, laid out one set of possible exceptions, but those are focused on the need to provide assistance to someone who is injured, particularly the elderly. Associate Justice Brett Kavanaugh also cited that situation.

Justice Samuel Alito’s concurrence is also of note. While he also mentions the idea of a welfare check on an elderly homeowner, he almost went out of his way to note that “red flag” laws could be challenged under the Fourth Amendment. Granted, this concurrence is not controlling, but it does remind us of his concurrence in Caetano v. Massachusetts, another unanimous opinion that holds strong implications for the Second Amendment, which could easily be used to place modern multi-purpose semiautomatic long guns under the protections of Heller and McDonald.

In this case, Caniglia v. Strom is a potential game-changer: The NRA has opposed a number of “red flag” laws in the past, including one backed by Senator Marco Rubio. Many of the versions pushed by Bloomberg stooges lack basic due process protections. However, there are two pieces of harsh reality Second Amendment supporters must confront. First, the fact is that mass shootings are exploited by anti-Second Amendment extremists to attack our rights. Second, “red flag” laws are sold as a way to prevent those horrific acts short of gun bans.

So, what should Second Amendment supporters do? The first step is to challenge the loosest of “red flag” laws in court, citing this case. Given the lack of a dissent in this case, our hand in those legislative and legal battles is much stronger – you can’t beat a unanimous Supreme Court ruling. The next step is to work with those in office to strengthen the due process protections – taking an approach like Ted Cruz did in 2019.

The Supreme Court’s ruling has given Second Amendment supporters an opportunity by shifting the landscape on “red flag” laws. The recent grant of cert on another case could do even more, as would the Supreme Court deciding to hear a case from New Jersey, but the question will be whether we will capitalize on that chance.

The answer to that will depend on how the off-year and midterm elections turn out. That is why Second Amendment supporters need to support the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action and Political Victory Fund to ensure that the current anti-Second Amendment regimes in the House, Senate, and White House and at the state level are defeated at the ballot box as soon as possible.


About Harold Hutchison

Writer Harold Hutchison has more than a dozen years of experience covering military affairs, international events, U.S. politics and Second Amendment issues. Harold was consulting senior editor at Soldier of Fortune magazine and is the author of the novel Strike Group Reagan. He has also written for the Daily Caller, National Review, Patriot Post, Strategypage.com, and other national websites.

Harold Hutchison

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KK
KK
26 days ago

Personally, I will believe my Second Amendment rights will be returned (and upheld for the first time in my life) WHEN IT ACTUALLY HAPPENS! Here behind the New Progressive Socialist Iron Curtain, where Second Amendment Rights apply only to active and retired government law enforcement officials, I was waiting a lifetime for the right to KEEP AND BEAR arms the same as American Citizens in free Constitutional states, and the after Sandy Hook in 2013, instead of gaining constitutional freedom, MUCH OF WHAT I OWNED BECAME ILLEGAL! Democrats are VERY PROFICIENT at taking from the Second Amendment! I have yet… Read more »

xtphreak
xtphreak
25 days ago
Reply to  KK

If you don’t like the laws in your current state, two choices.
1) Work to effect changes in the laws or
2) Move to a state with laws more to your liking.

That is why the constitutional republic of the United States of America has the US Constitution, containing the Tenth Amendment.
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, nor prohibited by it to the States, are reserved to the States respectively, or to the people….”

KK
KK
25 days ago
Reply to  xtphreak

How about this:
“The powers not delegated to the United States by the Constitution, NOR PROHIBITED BY IT TO THE STATES
(“IT”, being the Constitution)
THIS is the key part of the amendment that PROHIBITS state gun control laws.
What is reserved TO the states respectively, are the powers that are NOT delegated to the United States, and powers that are NOT PROHIBITED by the Constitution.

Last edited 25 days ago by KK
Mcknzy
Mcknzy
26 days ago

Where on earth is the NRA when you need them? I guess buying suits and vacations.1639 passed two years ago and all we hear is crickets.It has been in discovery for two years and nothing from the NRA. I won’t send good money after bad anymore to pad their wallets.

Don
Don
27 days ago

You’re too hard on Harold. He reports.

incorrigible
incorrigible
27 days ago

Judas LaPierre’s head shill is at again!

Knute
Knute
27 days ago
Reply to  incorrigible

Good name for little harold! Harold the Shill. Has a nice ring to it doesn’t it? 🙂