BELLEVUE, WA – Attorneys for the Second Amendment Foundation today filed an amicus brief supporting a request for the U.S. Supreme Court to review a civil case against a Florida sheriff’s office related to the slaying of an innocent man by a sheriff’s deputy who raided the man’s home, unannounced and without warrant or cause.
The case is Young v. Borders. It involves the death of Andrew Lee Scott. The 11th Circuit Court of Appeals ruled against the plaintiffs in this case, citing “qualified immunity” for the officers, which raises serious questions about the ability of police to shoot someone in his own home merely for answering a late-night pounding on his door, with a firearm at his side. According to a summary of the case, sheriff’s deputies did not have a warrant, or announce themselves, and did not suspect the home’s occupants of wrongdoing.
In the brief, attorney Alan Gura, writing for SAF, notes, “By suggesting that Americans should reasonably expect to be shot dead by police for possessing guns in their homes, the opinion arguably sets a new record for hostility to the Second Amendment among the lower federal courts—no mean feat.”
Later, Gura’s brief observes, “If the Second Amendment means anything, it means that the police must respect people’s ability to keep guns for self-defense—not shoot them dead over it. Yet the decision greenlights the notion that any American who keeps arms might for that reason alone be subjected to summary, consequence-free extra-judicial killing in his home by agents of the state…This decision not only contradicts the people’s right to be secure in their homes against unreasonable seizures, but is incompatible with a legal system that holds the right to keep and bear arms to be fundamental.”
“This case screams for Supreme Court review,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “Who among us would not take precautions when answering a pounding on our door in the middle of the night? After all, this is the United States, not a police state.”