Looking at news stories last night, I had some questions about the mechanics of firearm surrender under NYS’s Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act signed into law yesterday. I found that New York law already is replete with provisions for surrender of firearms or licenses on the occurrence of particular events. The Act uses "surrender" 42 times. The first, for example:
§ 2-a. Firearm, rifle or shotgun surrender order. Upon entry of a verdict of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect, or upon the acceptance of a plea of not responsible by reason of mental disease or defect, or upon a finding that the defendant is an incapacitated person pursuant to article seven hundred thirty of this chapter, the court shall revoke the defendant's firearm license, if any, inquire of the defendant as to the existence and location of any firearm, rifle or shotgun owned or possessed by such defendant and direct the surrender of such firearm, rifle or shotgun pursuant to subparagraph (f) of paragraph one of subdivision a of section 265.20 and subdivision six of section 400.05 of the penal law.
There are several others, such as for conviction of a crime, or believed to be mentally impaired, with a psychotherapist reporting privilege, all protected by judicial review.
What if the owner of a firearm refuses to give it up when ordered to by a court? A search warrant issues. People v. Degiorgio, 36 A.D.3d 1007, 827 N.Y.S.2d 342, 343 (3d Dept. 2007). Because it is a compelled act of production, however, it can't be used against the gun owner under the Fifth Amendment. People v. Havrish, 8 N.Y.3d 389, 834 N.Y.S.2d 681, 866 N.E.2d 1009 (2007). As for a search warrant, it could be viewed as an administrative warrant, but it is still issued by a judicial officer and subject to review for sufficiency.
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of zeal, well-meaning but without understanding.”
—United States v. Olmstead, 277 U.S. 438, 479 (1925) (Brandeis, J., dissenting)
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it is to oppress; the piranha can be as deadly as the shark.”
—United States v. $124,570, 873 F.2d 1240, 1246 (9th Cir. 1989)
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—Johnson v. United States, 333 U.S. 10, 13-14 (1948)