AELE LAW LIBRARY OF CASE SUMMARIES:
Civil Liability of Law Enforcement Agencies & Personnel
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Firearms Related: Licenses, Regulations & Other Issues
Whether or not state
officials were authorized under Connecticut state law to inquire into an
applicant's citizenship or legal residence when deciding whether to grant
him renewal of a firearms permit, demanding proof of citizenship or legal
residence in connection with such renewals was not so outrageous or shocking
as to constitute a violation of constitutional due process. The plaintiff
did, however, state a procedural due process claim based on the alleged
months-long delay in processing such renewal applications. Kuck v. Danaher,
#08-5368, 2010 U.S. App. Lexis 5899 (2nd Cir.).
The U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5-4 vote, ruled that a D.C. ordinance banning handgun possession and requiring that lawfully owned firearms be kept unloaded or bound by a trigger lock violates the Second Amendment. The Court found an individual constitutional right to possess a firearm for use for lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. District of Columbia v. Heller, No. 07-290, 2008 U.S. Lexis 5268.
Holders of concealed weapon permits did not have a right to enter a courthouse without submitting to a magnetometer search for firearms. Conducting such searches, which were carried out along with a posted notice that it was a crime to possess a weapon in a court facility did not violate the plaintiffs' rights under Pennsylvania law, and there was no reasonable expectation of privacy barring such searches. Minich v. County of Jefferson, Pennsylvania, No. No. 1750 C.D. 2006, 2007 Pa. Commw. Lexis 119.
Federal appeals court rules that the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution protects the right of an individual to keep and bear firearms, and that exercise of that right is not limited to persons enrolled in a state militia or National Guard unit. Court reinstates lawsuit seeking to challenge D.C. laws prohibiting the registration of handguns, requiring a license to carry a pistol, and mandating that all firearms lawfully owned in the District be contained in a trigger lock or else be kept disassembled and unloaded. Parker v. D.C., No. 04-7041, 478 F.3d 370 (D.C. Cir. 2007).
City and police officers did not violate an arrestee's Second Amendment right to bear arms or his Fourteenth Amendment right to due process before being deprived of his property when his handgun was taken away during his arrest for various criminal charges, and was subsequently destroyed on court order. The court noted that the confiscation of one weapon did not infringe on the arrestee's right to lawfully acquire another weapon, and that the arrestee was provided with notice of the court hearing regarding the disposition of his pistol, and was in attendance at the court proceeding at which theorder for its destruction was issued. Garcha v. City of Beacon, No. 04 CIV.5981, 351 F. Supp. 2d 213 (S.D.N.Y. 2005). [N/R]
While a convicted felon had no right to personally possess the firearms that were seized from his home, he did have some property rights in the weapons which were protected under state law. Accordingly, further proceedings were required on his claim that the county, by continuing to retain the weapons, and refusing to either restore the property to him through a designee or through the sale of the property and remittance of the proceeds to him violated the due process and eminent domain portions of the Maryland state constitution. Serio v. Baltimore County, No. 17, Sept. Term 2004, 863 A.2d 952 (Md. 2004). [N/R]
Sheriff's office employees acting in good faith were immune, under Washington state statute, from liability for any alleged errors in connection with preparing or transmitting information in the process of determining an applicants eligibility to receive or possess a firearm, or eligibility for a concealed pistol license. Applicant who was at first denied purchase of a pistol on the basis of incorrect information could not, therefore, collect damages. Deschamps v. Mason County Sheriff's Office, No. 30432-5-II, 96 P.3d 413 (Wash. App. Division 2 2004). [N/R]
Statute prohibiting firearms purchase by persons convicted of crimes punishable by more than one year of imprisonment was not designed to punish, but was aimed at promoting public safety, so that its retroactive application did not impermissibly increase the plaintiff's punishment. Plaintiff, who was convicted in 1962 of a larceny charge based on stealing beer worth $3.38, and was denied the right to purchase a rifle thirty-eight years later on the basis of that conviction, could still pursue a claim that the statute was unconstitutional as applied to him, so further proceedings are ordered on that claim, which the lower court improperly dismissed. Lehman v. Pennsylvania State Police, 839 A.2d 265 (Pa. 2003). [N/R]
California county's ordinance banning the possession of firearms on county property did not violate the First Amendment rights of gun show promoters or improperly regulate commercial speech. State gun regulations did not preempt county's ability to regulate gun shows, and federal appeals court declines to address Second Amendment argument, finding that it involves a collective right to bear arms only assertable by the states, and not by individuals. Nordyke v. King, #99-17551, 319 F.3d 1186 (9th Cir. 2003). [2003 LR Aug]
333:134 Running of one year statute of limitations to bring a federal civil rights claim over alleged political discrimination in revocation of store's firearms sales license and raid on store accrued on the day of the raid and a lawsuit filed 23 years after the fact was time barred even if plaintiffs claimed they did not learn the reason for the raid until later. Ramos v. Roman, 83 F.Supp. 2d 233 (D. Puerto Rico 2000).
327:40 Alabama man had no federally protected right to act as a private detective in a county; sheriff not liable for denial of pistol permit which applicant alleged was required for private detective's license to be issued. Moates v. Strength, 57 F.Supp. 2d 1305 (M.D. Ala. 1999).
322:149 No clearly established law, in 1969-70 or now, granting an individual a constitutional right to have a gun dealers' license despite alleged support of organizations engaged in violent activities. Rivera-Ramos v. Roman, #98- 1021, 98-1022, 98-1023, 156 F.3d 276 (1st Cir. 1998).
278:26 Even though state police violated Maryland state law in turning down, on the basis of past arrests, woman's application to purchase handgun, applicant could not collect damages for violation of federal civil rights; state law remedies were adequate and federal appeals court rules that Second Amendment does not apply to the states Love v. Peppersack, 47 F.3d 120 (4th Cir. 1995).
278:25 City was not liable for alleged unlawful revocation of man's pistol licenses in absence of a showing of a municipal policy or custom causing the revocation; individual police defendants entitled to qualified immunity despite plaintiff's claim they revoked his licenses on the basis of his nationality when there were other reasons for revocation Liu v. New York City Police Department, 627 N.Y.S.2d 683 (A.D. 1995). [Cross- references: Defenses: Qualified (Good-Faith). Immunity; Governmental Liability: Policy/Custom]
Police department was not liable to shooting victim for alleged inadequate compliance with requirement that criminal record of handgun purchaser by checked Scott v. Malcolm, 56 Ohio App. 3d 166, 565 N.E.2d 869 (1989), reported (1991).
County sheriff's revocation, without hearing, of license to carry a concealed firearm, did not violate due process; licensee had no constitutionally protected property right to such license Nichols v. County of Santa Clara, 273 Cal.Rptr. 84 (Cal App. 1990).
Revoking weapons permit entitles plaintiff to hearing Baker v. Board of Firearms Permit Examiners, 474 A.2d 115 (Conn Super 1984).
Citizens allowed to sell handguns; state law prevails over local ordinance Dwyer v. Farrell, 475 A.2d 257 (Conn 1984).
Police officer cannot recover from city for issuance of gun permit to dangerous person who shot him Satiro v. City of New Rochelle, 476 N.Y.S.2d 377 (App. 1984).
Confinement for misdemeanor grounds to revoke firearms permit Baker v. Illinois Dept of Law Enforcement, 464 N.E.2d 1260 (Ill App. 1984).
Illinois village's handgun ordinance prohibiting handgun possession upheld; court calls it first of its kind in the nation Quilici v. Village of Morton Grove, 695 F.2d 261 (7th Cir. 1983).
Local ordinance on ammunition preempted by state law Montgomery County v. Atlantic Guns, Inc, 489 A.2d 1114 (Md App. 1985).
Burglary suspect shot and killed when he grabbed officer's gun; city could be liable for its policy of requiring police to hold gun on suspects during handcuffing, "inviting them to lunge" for weapon and be killed Dodd v. City of Norwich, 815 F.2d 862 (2nd Cir. 1987).
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