A lawsuit was filed on August 13, 2015 in U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California on behalf of Lori Rodriguez, challenging the city of San Jose and its police department for seizure of her firearms under California’s Welfare and Institution Code.
The suit was filed by two gun-rights advocate groups, the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and Calguns Foundation (CGF) in which Lori was joined.
In January 2013, the SJPD responded to a call at the Rodriguez home because the husband, Edward, was behaving in an erratic manner and exhibiting signs of distress. He was taken to the hospital for a 72 hour psychiatric evaluation which resulted in his being placed on a psychiatric hold. This meant he could not possess firearms. Lori had twelve guns in a locked gun safe but the police seized them anyway over her objections, even though the firearms were not involved in the husband’s incident. So she sued to get them back.
The city attorney acknowledged that Lori could go out and buy new guns if she wanted, so their refusal to return her guns appears irrational.
The city’s position is that when Edward was asked if he wanted to hurt himself he said he had tried to break his thumbs. The police believed he was a danger to himself and others and confiscated the guns.
Oddly enough, the city has conceded the wife can go out and purchase new guns to replace the ones confiscated.
We will continue to watch this case.
Should a city or any other jurisdiction simply be allowed to seize someone’s legally-owned property because of the actions of a spouse or some other third party?
What are your thoughts?