Is the Fourth Amendment under assault?


If the Fourth Amendment is weakened- our protection against unreasonable searches and seizures – the Second Amendment and several others become  moot.

I am neither a lawyer nor a conspiracy theorist.

I rely on a small circle of attorneys for legal news and to help me separate fact from hyperbole.

Lately, they’re becoming increasingly alarmed about what they see as an assault on our Fourth Amendment protections – an assault that’s come about as a result of new technology: drones, electronic surveillance and breakthroughs in the science of DNA.

The Fourth Amendment prohibits unreasonable searches and seizures, and it requires police to obtain a search warrant from a judge, based on probable cause, before entering someone’s castle.

It serves as a bulwark against an unreasonable intrusion by the government. It’s what keeps you safe and secure in your home – in addition to your 870.

A story published in the February issue of the American Bar Association Journal  titled: “Does the Fourth Amendment Still fit the 21st Century” is generating a lot of buzz within the legal community.

It’s author, Erwin Chemerinsky, is Dean and Distinguished Professor of Law at the University of California, Irvine School of Law, and one of the country’s top experts in constitutional law.

Erwin Chemerinsky

Chemerinsky cites two cases: one where police planted a GPS tracker on a person’s car absent their knowledge or consent, and a second where they took a DNA sample without a search warrant, and adds, “…what really is at stake in these and so many other cases involving technology: informational privacy. When should individuals be able to keep information from the government except if there is individualized suspicion and a warrant?”

Professor Chemerinsky’s column should be required reading for anyone concerned about their civil rights.



About Author

Lee Williams can’t remember a time in his life when he wasn’t shooting. Before becoming a journalist, Lee served in the Army and worked as a police officer. He’s earned more than a dozen journalism awards as a reporter, and three medals of valor as a cop. He is an NRA-certified law enforcement firearms instructor, an avid tactical shooter and a training junkie. When he’s not busy as a senior investigative reporter, he is usually shooting his AKs, XDs and CZs. If you don’t run into him at a local gun range, you can reach him at 941.284.8553, by email, or by regular mail to 1741 Main St., Sarasota, FL 34236. You can follow him on Twitter: @HT_GunWriter and on Facebook @The Gun Writer.

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