Indiana Supreme Court: 2nd Amendment Rights Protected by 4th Amendment
by AWR Hawkins12 May 2017
In a May 9 ruling regarding a case where an individual was “detained and questioned,” then arrested for possessing a gun, the Indiana Supreme Court ruled that Fourth Amendment protections cover individuals who are exercising Second Amendment rights as well.
The case, Thomas Pinner v. State, revolved around Pinner’s arrest after dropping a handgun while exiting a taxi outside a movie theater. The taxi driver claimed the sight of the gun made him fear he was going to be robbed.
The Indiana Supreme Court’s (ISC’s) opinion explains that Pinner is a black male who was with a black female. The opinion describes that officers Jason Palmer and George Stewart arrived at the movie theater to find Pinner sitting on a bench:
Pinner was subsequently “arrested and charged with class A misdemeanor carrying a handgun without a license enhanced to a level 5 felony due to a prior felony conviction.” During trial, he sought to suppress the discovery of the gun by “contending the search and seizure were conducted in violation of both the Fourth Amendment to the United States Constitution and Article 1, Section 11 of the Indiana Constitution.” A trial court denied Pinner’s petition, and an Appeals Court handed down “a divided opinion.”
The ISC observed:
The court added, “Assuming without deciding the tip from the taxicab driver was reliable, the threshold question is whether the mere allegation that Pinner possessed a handgun—without more—is sufficient to establish that Pinner ‘[wa]s, or [wa]s about to be, engaged in criminal activity.’” The court then ruled that the mere possession of a handgun was not sufficient to establish that Pinner was “engaged in criminal activity.”
ISC issued a conclusion that makes clear that the privacy protections of the Fourth Amendment cover those exercising Second Amendment rights, too. The opinion said, “We conclude the evidence [against Pinner] was obtained in violation of the Fourth Amendment and thus the trial court erred in denying the Defendant’s motion to suppress. We therefore reverse the judgment of the trial court and remand this cause for further proceedings.”
Source: USA Carry