Iowa Cops: If We Know You Have a Carry Permit For a Gun, That's a Good Reason to Invade Your Home Like an Army (Even If You Aren't Who We Are Looking For)


UPDATE: Original headline mistakenly said "registered gun"–what was at issue was a carry permit.

Radley Balko at the Washington Post with a disturbing followup to the story about another superviolent police raid over a non violent crime, blogged about here yesterday by Ed Krayewski.


Why did the cops feel necessary pursuing a credit card fraud suspect to come in like an invading army?

Because they knew someone in the house had a registered carry permit for a gun, the police said.

That's pretty scary, Balko points out:

citing the fact that one of the occupants in the house — Justin Ross — had applied and was approved for a gun permit  is probably most disturbing of all. First, hardened criminals who are a threat to kill cops tend not to be the sort of people who bother with permits, or to register their firearms with the government….

Second, Ross was not one of the suspects for whom the police were looking. It seems highly, highly unlikely that had the police knocked on the door, announced themselves and waited for someone to answer it, a law-abiding citizen like Justin Ross would be a threat to suddenly decide to kill some cops. But it's much more likely that Justin Ross might feel the need to defend himself upon hearing unidentified parties break down two doors, followed by the sight of several armed men in his home. Indeed, that's very nearly what happened.

Finally, think of the implications if this were the policy everywhere. It would mean that if you're a gun owner, the police could cite that fact in and of itself as justification for them to violently tear down your door, rush your house with guns and point those guns at your family — even if their warrant is for a nonviolent crime, even if it's for a white collar crime, even if you've dutifully registered your gun with the government. In fact, given that Ross's permit is how the police knew he was armed in the first place, especially if you've dutifully registered your guns with the government. If I were a gun owner in Des Moines, I'd be asking some questions.