Iowa Cops: If We Know You Have a Registered Gun, That’s a Good Reason to Invade Your Home Like an Army (Even If You Aren’t Who We Are Looking For)

Radley Balko at the Washington Post with a
disturbing followup
to the story about another superviolent
police raid over a non violent crime,
blogged about here yesterday
by Ed Krayewski.

Why did the cops feel necessary pursuing a credit card fraud
suspect to coming in like an invading army? Because they knew
someone in the house had a registered gun, the police said.

That’s pretty scary, Balko points out:

citing the fact that one of the occupants in the house — Justin
Ross — had applied and was approved for a gun permit  is
probably most disturbing of all. First, hardened criminals who
are a threat to kill cops tend not to be the sort of people who
bother with permits, or to register their firearms with the

Second, Ross was not one of the suspects for whom the police
were looking. It seems highly, highly unlikely that had the police
knocked on the door, announced themselves and waited for someone to
answer it, a law-abiding citizen like Justin Ross would be a threat
to suddenly decide to kill some cops. But
it’s much more likely that Justin Ross might
feel the need to defend himself upon hearing unidentified parties
break down two doors, followed by the sight of several armed men in
his home. Indeed, that’s very nearly what happened.

Finally, think of the implications if this were the policy
everywhere. It would mean that if you’re a gun owner, the police
could cite that fact in and of itself as justification for them to
violently tear down your door, rush your house with guns and point
those guns at your family — even if their warrant is for a
nonviolent crime, even if it’s for a white collar crime, even if
you’ve dutifully registered your gun with the government. In fact,
given that Ross’s permit is how the police knew he was armed in the
first place, especially if you’ve dutifully
registered your guns with the government. If I were a gun owner in
Des Moines, I’d be asking some questions.

from Hit & Run

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