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Liberty1
07-19-2009, 8:29 PM
http://www.reporterherald.com/news_story.asp?ID=23999

Colorado (hat tip to OCDO (http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum66/28597.html))

Loveland police accused of violating rights of man with holstered pistol at lake


By Jon Pilsner
Loveland Reporter-Herald

CORRECTION: The incident discussed in this story occurred in South Shore Parkway on the south side of Lake Loveland. The location was incorrect in the original version of this story.

The American Civil Liberties Union has sent a letter to the Loveland Police Department alleging that officers illegally searched and briefly detained a man carrying a gun at South Shore Parkway.


On Thursday, the ACLU sent a formal complaint to Loveland Police Chief Luke Hecker and 8th Judicial District Attorney’s Office chief investigator Elliot Phelps.


The organization is questioning the way police dealt with Loveland resident Bill Miller at South Shore Parkway on Oct. 7, 2008.


The ACLU has not sued the city but asked in its letter that the Police Department turn over all records connected to the incident, including internal review documents and discipline or training records of the officers involved.


A spokesman for the ACLU said the organization would wait for a formal response from both Hecker and Phelps before commenting.


The Loveland Police Department did not return several messages from the Reporter-Herald requesting comment Thursday.


Miller, 71, said Thursday that he isn’t looking for anything for himself, such as an apology, but rather he wants to teach a lesson.


“I would like to see police officers change the way they approach people with guns,” Miller said in an interview.

“I hope that (police departments) know they need to operate within the law and respect all of the constitutional rights of all the people.”


Miller was carrying an unconcealed handgun in a holster attached to his waistband, he said, when he was approached by Loveland police officers who had received a report of a man with a weapon in the park.


Miller wasn’t carrying the gun to protest or make a point, he said; he was trying out a new holster he had made.


The police officers, according to the ACLU’s letter, seized Miller’s pistol “without consent, and emptied it of ammunition.”


The officers then ordered Miller to give them his driver’s license, over his objections.



After checking with dispatchers, the officers found that both the gun and Miller were clear of any issues, and they returned Miller’s gun and license.


They also “explained our and citizens’ initial concern over the weapon,” the police incident report says.


Miller also said, the ACLU’s letter says, that the officers told him he could expect similar treatment should “similar encounters occur in the future.”


From the time officers first contacted Miller to the time they left was about 16 minutes, according to a police incident report. No charges were filed.


Miller sent a formal complaint to 8th Judicial District Attorney Larry Abrahamson, according to a letter Phelps sent to Miller.


In that letter, Phelps told Miller the office considered the incident an internal matter for the Police Department.


Phelps said residents have a right to possess and carry firearms, but that “there is a fine line between the protection of an individual’s rights and the protection of a law enforcement officer.”

Window_Seat
07-19-2009, 8:35 PM
Hmmmm... I told my brother (who is an ACLU member) that I would join if they learned how to count from 1-10 without missing #2. I may just have to hold my word, but they still have a ways to go...

Erik.

Quiet
07-19-2009, 8:38 PM
So far, it appears that the NV, LA and CO branch of the ACLU are breaking from the national ACLU's viewpoint on the 2nd Amendment.

JDoe
07-19-2009, 8:48 PM
So far, it appears that the NV, LA and CO branch of the ACLU are breaking from the national ACLU's viewpoint on the 2nd Amendment.

"CHANGE" I can live with!

Liberty1
07-19-2009, 9:08 PM
7th post down has the letter the ACLU sent to the police http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum66/28597.html

aplinker
07-19-2009, 9:13 PM
I'm really in shock.

I'm pretty conservative, but I've had a respect for ACLU, in spite of their ignoring the 2A.

To see them do this, though - again. I wonder what's happening over there?!

7th post down has the letter the ACLU sent to the police http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/forum66/28597.html

are you referring to this one:
http://opencarry.mywowbb.com/attachment.php?id=7176
?

I didn't see another, but it's not post 7, so I wanted to make sure.

obeygiant
07-20-2009, 12:02 AM
for those not wanting to download the pdf:


July 16, 2009

Chief Luke Hecker
Loveland Police Department
10 East 10th Street
Loveland, CO 80537
SENT VIA FACSIMILE: 970-962-2917

Elliot Phelps
Chief Investigator
Office of the District Attorney
8th Judicial Office
LaPorte Avenue Suite 200
Ft. Collins, Colorado 80521
SENT VIA FACSIMILE: 970-498-7250

Re: Seizure of Bill Miller by Loveland police officers in violation of the
Fourth Amendment; CCJRA request

Dear Chief Hecker and Mr. Phelps:

I write regarding a complaint received from Mr. Bill Miller describing his
encounter with three Loveland Police Department officers on October 7, 2008.
During that encounter, Mr. Miller was detained based solely on the fact that he
had an unconcealed handgun, the possession of which undisputedly did not
violate any Colorado or Loveland laws. Pursuant to the Colorado Criminal
Justice Records Act (“CCJRA”), the ACLU requests all records related to any
internal review or investigation of the search and seizure of Mr. Miller and his
firearm. I also write to ask for your assurance that the actions of your officers
were not acceptable to the Loveland Police Department and will not be repeated.

Mr. Miller alleges that he was sitting on a park bench overlooking Lake Loveland,
eating an apple and enjoying the view, in the early evening hours of October 7,
2008. At the time of the incident, Mr. Miller was 71 years old. Mr. Miller states
he was unexpectedly approached by Loveland Police Department (“LPD”)
officers, who told Mr. Miller they had received a “tip” that Mr. Miller had a gun on
his person. Mr. Miller did, in fact, have an unconcealed, holstered handgun
attached to his waistband. Mr. Miller alleges that LPD officers seized his
handgun without his consent, and emptied it of ammunition. Mr. Miller states that
LPD officers also ordered him to produce his driver’s license over his objections.
LPD officers detained Mr. Miller for some time before finally returning
Mr. Miller’s handgun and license. Mr. Miller states that LPD officers told him he could expect
the same treatment should similar encounters occur in the future.

LPD records corroborate Mr. Miller’s recollection of events. LPD incident reports
(attached) indicate that three LPD officers contacted Mr. Miller on October 7,
2008, around 6:20 p.m. The incident report records that officers seized Mr.
Miller’s handgun, “cleared” the serial number on the handgun, and then
concluded: “Carry weapon in view, not concealed, no violation, explained our
and citizens [sic] initial concern over the weapon.”

Subsequent to a complaint made by Mr. Miller to the office of the Weld County
District Attorney, Chief Investigator Elliot Phelps informed Mr. Miller that his
complaint would be reviewed by the Loveland Police Department (see letter
attached). In that letter, Mr. Phelps also stated:

While citizens have many constitutional rights, the right to possess and
carry a firearm is a right which, in the hands of the wrong person, in the
wrong circumstances, may cause harm to an officer. There is a fine
balance between the protection of an individual’s right and the protection
of a law enforcement officer.

The ACLU of Colorado certainly agrees with Mr. Phelps that in some
circumstances there can be a “fine balance between the protection of an
individual’s right and the protection of a law enforcement officer.” In this case,
however, LPD officers did not confront a situation which called for striking a “fine
balance” between individual constitutional rights and officer safety. Instead, the
facts as presented clearly and unambiguously required that LPD officers respect
Mr. Miller’s constitutional rights, which they failed to do.

Mr. Miller’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures is protected
by the Fourth Amendment to the federal constitutional and by Article II Section 7
of the Colorado constitution. Those constitutional protections clearly prohibit
officers from seizing an unconcealed, legally-possessed firearm, and prohibit
officers from detaining and investigating the individual carrying that firearm, in the
absence of any suspicion of criminal activity. While it is true that in some cases
an officer may be entitled to search and remove firearms during a legitimate
investigative detention if officers reasonably fear for their safety, the facts of this
case are totally devoid of any such justification.

Numerous courts that have examined similar situations have consistently held
that police officers are not entitled to stop or search an individual merely because
that person is reported to be, or is seen, carrying a firearm. The U.S. Supreme
Court weighed in on a similar question in 2000, when it held that police officers
were not justified in stopping and searching an individual based only upon a tip
from a caller who claimed the individual was carrying a firearm. Florida v. J.L.,
529 U.S. 266 (2000).

The Tenth Circuit has also held police officers’ acts unconstitutional in cases with
similar facts. In United States v. King, 990 F.2d 1552 (10th Cir. 1993), the Tenth
Circuit rejected arguments made by police officers that the Fourth Amendment
permitted them to detain individuals who presented “any articulable” threat to
their safety in the form of a legally-possessed, loaded firearm. The court noted
as follows:

In a state . . . which permits persons to lawfully carry firearms, the
government's argument would effectively eliminate Fourth Amendment
protections for lawfully armed persons . . . if a police officer's safety could
justify the detention of an otherwise lawfully armed person, the detention
could last indefinitely because a lawfully armed person would perpetually
present a threat to the safety of the officer.

Id. at 1563.

Other courts have reached similar conclusions. In United States v. Ubiles, 224
F.3d 213 (3rd Cir. 2000), the Third Circuit held that police officers’ decision to
stop and search an individual during a local carnival, based only upon a tip that
that person had a firearm, violated that person’s Fourth Amendment rights. The
court explained its reasoning by use of a hypothetical:

[T]he Government adduced no evidence suggesting that . . . the gun
[plaintiff] possessed was defaced or unlicensed, that [plaintiff] posed a
safety risk to the authorities or the . . . celebrants, or that [plaintiff] was
acting in a manner indicating that he was involved in a different crime. For
all the officers knew, even assuming the reliability of the tip that [plaintiff]
possessed a gun, [plaintiff] was another celebrant lawfully exercising his
right under Virgin Islands law to possess a gun in public . . . This situation
is no different than if . . . officers [received a tip] that [plaintiff] possessed a
wallet, a perfectly legal act in the Virgin Islands, and the authorities had
stopped him for this reason. Though a search of that wallet may have
revealed counterfeit bills--the possession of which is a crime under United
States law--the officers would have had no justification to stop [plaintiff]
based merely on information that he possessed a wallet.

Id. at 218. See also Brown v. City of Milwaukee, 288 F. Supp. 2d 962, 971 (E.D.
Wis. 2003) (rejecting officers’ claims that they were immune from civil suit arising
from officers’ search and seizure of a woman based only upon information that
she might possess a firearm) (“the dispatch report stated only that the individual
possessed a gun, which is not necessarily a crime.”); United States v. Dudley,
854 F. Supp. 570, 580 (S.D. Ind. 1994) (holding that a search of a vehicle based
upon a report that there were guns inside was unconstitutional) (“A telephone
report of citizens possessing guns . . . standing alone, cannot amount to
reasonable suspicion of crime”).

Based upon Mr. Miller’s account and LPD’s own reports, no reasonable officer
could have believed Mr. Miller was doing anything more on October 7, 2008, than
“lawfully exercising his right under . . . [the] law to possess a gun in public.”
Ubiles, 224 F.3d at 218. LPD officers were not justified in seizing Mr. Miller’s
personal property, nor did they have a right to detain Mr. Miller in order to
investigate him or his firearm based only on the fact that Mr. Miller possessed an
unconcealed weapon. The actions of LPD officers are especially troubling in light
of the officers’ alleged promise that Mr. Miller would receive similar treatment
each and every time he carried a legal, unconcealed firearm in the future. The
threat raises a question regarding whether LPD officers believe they have the
right to stop, detain and investigate anyone in Loveland merely because that
person possesses, or is alleged to possess, an unconcealed firearm.

Pursuant to the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act, please produce all
criminal justice records connected with the October 7, 2009, search and seizure
of Mr. Miller. This request includes, but is not limited to, any internal affairs
records or other internal review records generated in response to the complaint
forwarded to the Chief of Police by the Weld County District Attorney, such as
officer statements, internal correspondence, and the discipline or additional
training, if any, imposed on the involved officers.

In addition, I request the assurance of the Loveland Police Department that the
actions of its officers on October 7, 2008, were not appropriate under department
policies and procedures, and will not be repeated. I look forward to hearing from
you at your earliest convenience.

Very truly yours,

Taylor Pendergrass
Staff Attorney, ACLU of Colorado

Enc. LPD Incident Report (10/7/08); Phelps letter (5/6/09)
cc. Miller

N6ATF
07-20-2009, 12:52 AM
Roasting on a spit.

gotgunz
07-20-2009, 1:46 AM
The callback number is listed in the incident reports....


Have at it boys!

yellowfin
07-20-2009, 5:33 AM
It'll be 20 years before New York's ACLU will inch a toe towards this. :(

xxdabroxx
07-20-2009, 7:17 AM
does anyone like the "Very truly yours"? It seems so lame for a business letter.

Swatter911
07-20-2009, 7:28 AM
The ACLU is not taking this as a 2A case, they're taking it as a 4A case. I still am not convinced that the ACLU cares a wit about the 2A. Highlights below are mine.


Re: Seizure of Bill Miller by Loveland police officers in violation of the
Fourth Amendment; CCJRA request

Dear Chief Hecker and Mr. Phelps:

I write regarding a complaint received from Mr. Bill Miller describing his
encounter with three Loveland Police Department officers on October 7, 2008.
During that encounter, Mr. Miller was detained based solely on the fact that he
had an unconcealed handgun, the possession of which undisputedly did not
violate any Colorado or Loveland laws. Pursuant to the Colorado Criminal
Justice Records Act (“CCJRA”), the ACLU requests all records related to any
internal review or investigation of the search and seizure of Mr. Miller and his
firearm. I also write to ask for your assurance that the actions of your officers
were not acceptable to the Loveland Police Department and will not be repeated.

Mr. Miller alleges that he was sitting on a park bench overlooking Lake Loveland,
eating an apple and enjoying the view, in the early evening hours of October 7,
2008. At the time of the incident, Mr. Miller was 71 years old. Mr. Miller states
he was unexpectedly approached by Loveland Police Department (“LPD”)
officers, who told Mr. Miller they had received a “tip” that Mr. Miller had a gun on
his person. Mr. Miller did, in fact, have an unconcealed, holstered handgun
attached to his waistband. Mr. Miller alleges that LPD officers seized his
handgun without his consent, and emptied it of ammunition. Mr. Miller states that
LPD officers also ordered him to produce his driver’s license over his objections.
LPD officers detained Mr. Miller for some time before finally returning
Mr. Miller’s handgun and license. Mr. Miller states that LPD officers told him he could expect
the same treatment should similar encounters occur in the future.

LPD records corroborate Mr. Miller’s recollection of events. LPD incident reports
(attached) indicate that three LPD officers contacted Mr. Miller on October 7,
2008, around 6:20 p.m. The incident report records that officers seized Mr.
Miller’s handgun, “cleared” the serial number on the handgun, and then
concluded: “Carry weapon in view, not concealed, no violation, explained our
and citizens [sic] initial concern over the weapon.”

Subsequent to a complaint made by Mr. Miller to the office of the Weld County
District Attorney, Chief Investigator Elliot Phelps informed Mr. Miller that his
complaint would be reviewed by the Loveland Police Department (see letter
attached). In that letter, Mr. Phelps also stated:

While citizens have many constitutional rights, the right to possess and
carry a firearm is a right which, in the hands of the wrong person, in the
wrong circumstances, may cause harm to an officer. There is a fine
balance between the protection of an individual’s right and the protection
of a law enforcement officer.
The ACLU of Colorado certainly agrees with Mr. Phelps that in some
circumstances there can be a “fine balance between the protection of an
individual’s right and the protection of a law enforcement officer.” In this case,
however, LPD officers did not confront a situation which called for striking a “fine
balance” between individual constitutional rights and officer safety. Instead, the
facts as presented clearly and unambiguously required that LPD officers respect
Mr. Miller’s constitutional rights, which they failed to do.

Mr. Miller’s right to be free from unreasonable searches and seizures is protected
by the Fourth Amendment to the federal constitutional and by Article II Section 7
of the Colorado constitution. Those constitutional protections clearly prohibit
officers from seizing an unconcealed, legally-possessed firearm, and prohibit
officers from detaining and investigating the individual carrying that firearm, in the
absence of any suspicion of criminal activity. While it is true that in some cases
an officer may be entitled to search and remove firearms during a legitimate
investigative detention if officers reasonably fear for their safety, the facts of this
case are totally devoid of any such justification.

Numerous courts that have examined similar situations have consistently held
that police officers are not entitled to stop or search an individual merely because
that person is reported to be, or is seen, carrying a firearm. The U.S. Supreme
Court weighed in on a similar question in 2000, when it held that police officers
were not justified in stopping and searching an individual based only upon a tip
from a caller who claimed the individual was carrying a firearm. Florida v. J.L.,
529 U.S. 266 (2000).

The Tenth Circuit has also held police officers’ acts unconstitutional in cases with
similar facts. In United States v. King, 990 F.2d 1552 (10th Cir. 1993), the Tenth
Circuit rejected arguments made by police officers that the Fourth Amendment
permitted them to detain individuals who presented “any articulable” threat to
their safety in the form of a legally-possessed, loaded firearm. The court noted
as follows:

In a state . . . which permits persons to lawfully carry firearms, the
government's argument would effectively eliminate Fourth Amendment
protections for lawfully armed persons . . . if a police officer's safety could
justify the detention of an otherwise lawfully armed person, the detention
could last indefinitely because a lawfully armed person would perpetually
present a threat to the safety of the officer.
Id. at 1563.

Other courts have reached similar conclusions. In United States v. Ubiles, 224
F.3d 213 (3rd Cir. 2000), the Third Circuit held that police officers’ decision to
stop and search an individual during a local carnival, based only upon a tip that
that person had a firearm, violated that person’s Fourth Amendment rights. The
court explained its reasoning by use of a hypothetical:

[T]he Government adduced no evidence suggesting that . . . the gun
[plaintiff] possessed was defaced or unlicensed, that [plaintiff] posed a
safety risk to the authorities or the . . . celebrants, or that [plaintiff] was
acting in a manner indicating that he was involved in a different crime. For
all the officers knew, even assuming the reliability of the tip that [plaintiff]
possessed a gun, [plaintiff] was another celebrant lawfully exercising his
right under Virgin Islands law to possess a gun in public . . . This situation
is no different than if . . . officers [received a tip] that [plaintiff] possessed a
wallet, a perfectly legal act in the Virgin Islands, and the authorities had
stopped him for this reason. Though a search of that wallet may have
revealed counterfeit bills--the possession of which is a crime under United
States law--the officers would have had no justification to stop [plaintiff]
based merely on information that he possessed a wallet.
Id. at 218. See also Brown v. City of Milwaukee, 288 F. Supp. 2d 962, 971 (E.D.
Wis. 2003) (rejecting officers’ claims that they were immune from civil suit arising
from officers’ search and seizure of a woman based only upon information that
she might possess a firearm) (“the dispatch report stated only that the individual
possessed a gun, which is not necessarily a crime.”); United States v. Dudley,
854 F. Supp. 570, 580 (S.D. Ind. 1994) (holding that a search of a vehicle based
upon a report that there were guns inside was unconstitutional) (“A telephone
report of citizens possessing guns . . . standing alone, cannot amount to
reasonable suspicion of crime”).

Based upon Mr. Miller’s account and LPD’s own reports, no reasonable officer
could have believed Mr. Miller was doing anything more on October 7, 2008, than
“lawfully exercising his right under . . . [the] law to possess a gun in public.”
Ubiles, 224 F.3d at 218. LPD officers were not justified in seizing Mr. Miller’s
personal property, nor did they have a right to detain Mr. Miller in order to
investigate him or his firearm based only on the fact that Mr. Miller possessed an
unconcealed weapon. The actions of LPD officers are especially troubling in light
of the officers’ alleged promise that Mr. Miller would receive similar treatment
each and every time he carried a legal, unconcealed firearm in the future. The
threat raises a question regarding whether LPD officers believe they have the
right to stop, detain and investigate anyone in Loveland merely because that
person possesses, or is alleged to possess, an unconcealed firearm.

Pursuant to the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act, please produce all
criminal justice records connected with the October 7, 2009, search and seizure
of Mr. Miller. This request includes, but is not limited to, any internal affairs
records or other internal review records generated in response to the complaint
forwarded to the Chief of Police by the Weld County District Attorney, such as
officer statements, internal correspondence, and the discipline or additional
training, if any, imposed on the involved officers.

In addition, I request the assurance of the Loveland Police Department that the
actions of its officers on October 7, 2008, were not appropriate under department
policies and procedures, and will not be repeated. I look forward to hearing from
you at your earliest convenience.



I think you could subsitute any other article for a gun in this incident and the ACLU would have had the same response. The gun is not what is motiviating them.

Roadrunner
07-20-2009, 8:00 AM
Whether this particular case is taken as a 2A or 4A case, it's still a good thing and it really makes me wonder about some cops and their view of the 2A. I think someone really needs to take cops to the wood shed that feel that the 2A is exclusively theirs and really teach them the error of their ways.

KylaGWolf
07-20-2009, 1:07 PM
What bothered me as soon as the officers arrived they would have known there was no law broken. The gun was in plain view. End of contact period. After that the police crossed the line. Although I have to agree this is more 4A case than a 2A but still can do some good.

bohoki
07-20-2009, 4:18 PM
if you drive somewhere to open carry make sure you hide your licence in your vehicle and lock the doors

grammaton76
07-20-2009, 4:30 PM
Given that this happened in Colorado - was the guy in violation of any laws with loaded open carry? I suspect he wasn't, which probably shifts this from being a 2A case at all, to purely a 4A case.

JBBenson
07-20-2009, 4:51 PM
It is notable that the ACLU simply accepts as legitimate his right to open carry.

No comment, no drama. That is new.

Liberty1
07-20-2009, 4:53 PM
Given that this happened in Colorado - was the guy in violation of any laws with loaded open carry? I suspect he wasn't, which probably shifts this from being a 2A case at all, to purely a 4A case.

There is no court protected right to carry out side of the home, YET. When there is, a situation like this will more clearly be actionable under both the 2nd and 4th As. But for now the volumes of 4th A. case law is the best way to keep the police from violating your second (if they can't stop and seize firearms for otherwise lawful conduct then no 2nd A violation will occur).

Liberty1
07-20-2009, 5:02 PM
if you drive somewhere to open carry make sure you hide your licence in your vehicle and lock the doors

Why, so the police can legitimately stop you and demand your "License, Registration and Insurance" once your are driving on the road?

Better yet, borrow your sister's car or rent one or take a taxi if you really don't want the plate checked.

ALL gun carriers/transporters should do daily/weekly checks of their vehicles to insure all required lighting devices are functioning (a common reason for t-stops). Have two plates attached and no tinting on front side windows and front windshields. Wear your seat belt, and use a hands free device. Oh gosh I could go on and on and on........:(

nemo2econ
07-20-2009, 5:27 PM
This is a very good sign on the part of the ACLU of Colorado. Civil liberties are human liberties, and certainly ought to include the ancient human right of self-defense.

The Human Right of Self-Defense (http://ssrn.com/abstract=1022097), 2008, a law review paper by David Kopel et al.

Harrison_Bergeron
07-20-2009, 6:35 PM
If this case were to go further could it have an effect on our "safety checks" here in CA?

grammaton76
07-20-2009, 6:39 PM
If this case were to go further could it have an effect on our "safety checks" here in CA?

Probably not in face of codified law that says they can do loaded checks.

The main issue there is that they didn't exactly have the right to take apart / search his gun, whereas in CA they explicitly do.

Maybe if this went high enough (Supreme I think) it could force the contents of guns to be subject to 4A protections?

Sons of Liberty
07-20-2009, 6:51 PM
This OC'er was obviously a young radical trying to ruin it for the rest of us law abiding citizens. :hammer: He just needs to settle down and get back in line! :rolleyes:

Mulay El Raisuli
07-21-2009, 5:49 AM
It is notable that the ACLU simply accepts as legitimate his right to open carry.

No comment, no drama. That is new.



That was the part that got my attention.

The Raisuli

ripcurlksm
07-21-2009, 8:34 AM
Hmmmm... I told my brother (who is an ACLU member) that I would join if they learned how to count from 1-10 without missing #2.

Thats great... nice one

gun toting monkeyboy
07-21-2009, 8:44 AM
My god. I feel like I am in Bizarro World here. The ACLU actually taking the side of a gun owner. Albeit in a 4A case, but it is amazing none the less. The very fact that they were willing to do so just boggles my mind here.

-Mb

IGOTDIRT4U
07-21-2009, 11:59 AM
Think of it this way...the ACLU did a lot of footwork for us on this one. 4A issues will cross into 2A issues a lot of times, and for them to go to bat on this crossover case has really aided us in our struggles. Thanks, ACLU!

Harrison_Bergeron
07-21-2009, 12:38 PM
Probably not in face of codified law that says they can do loaded checks.

The main issue there is that they didn't exactly have the right to take apart / search his gun, whereas in CA they explicitly do.

Maybe if this went high enough (Supreme I think) it could force the contents of guns to be subject to 4A protections?

We all know that the loaded checks are in defiance of the 4th as it is, just because the legislators make something the law, does not make them Constitutional. Just like a "paper's please" law would not be Constitutional even if it was a law.

I think that if an opinion were put out along the same lines as what is discussed in the letter, it would make for a quick shooting down of the safety check, as possessing a gun should not be considered suspicious if it is not illegal to do so per the law, a LEO would/should have to have a reason to believe a gun is loaded, or otherwise not legal, in order to do a search.