Media overlooks Biden administration’s appeal to allow law enforcement to enter homes without warrants

March 26, 2021

By Stephanie H. Freedman

This week, the Biden administration urged the Supreme Court to uphold warrantless gun confiscation policies. The case, Caniglia v. Strom, is considering whether police “acted lawfully by entering a man’s home and removing his firearms” without a warrant after he had expressed thoughts of suicide and was taken to the hospital for a psychiatric evaluation.

The court case noted that a police officer “must act as a master of all emergencies, who is ‘expected to…provide an infinite variety of services to preserve and protect community safety.” The court also heard arguments explaining when police “operate without a warrant, there are necessary exceptions that are designed to give police elbow room to take appropriate action”. 

Compare this to the coverage against no-knock warrants following the death of Breonna Taylor. CNN said that banning “no-knock warrants is not enough” after her death. Rolling Stone ran an article titled “No-Knock Warrants: Inside Police Tactic That Killed Breonna Taylor”. ABC ran a story discussing no-knock warrants as, “police tactics that can lead to deadly middle-of-the-night raids”. 

The policy of warrantless gun confiscation goes further than a no-knock warrant ever will. Under this policy, the court authorizes warrantless entries into homes and seizures of people and their firearms when officers “have reasonable belief public safety is in jeopardy”. 

Biden’s administration’s push to allow law enforcement to enter homes without warrants is a severe policy shift from the current narrative regarding polices’ scope of influence. Yet, there is barely any media coverage. As the headlines cover both the “war on gun violence” and “defund the police”, this week’s Supreme Court hearing has found the media at a crossroads of both issues.


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