Tags: Gun Rights | wisconsin | police | warrantless | search | firearms | guns

City Officials Step In to Stop Chief's Demands for Gun Searches

By    |   Saturday, 13 Dec 2014 12:07 PM

City officials in Beloit, Wisconsin, have stepped in to stop the city police chief's push for citizens to allow police officers to search their homes, without a warrant, for firearms.

Earlier this month, city Police Chief Norm Jacobs issued a press release  that urged residents to volunteer for the searches of their homes for firearms, reports The Daily Caller, calling the searches a valuable "opportunity" being offered.

"At worst, these weapons are used in the fit of rage by family members to settle scores or by individuals who are experiencing a temporary mental crisis that turns tragic and permanent," said Jacobs in the press release. "In 2010, gunfire took the lives of 31,672 Americans. We need to consider potential crime guns as if they were the Ebola virus and deal with them similarly to a healthcare issue.

He said that many residents may not be able to account for the guns in their homes and to secure them against theft or unauthorized access.

About a week later, Beloit City Manager Larry Arft said the chief's search offer had been pulled back, reports the Beloit Daily News,  after the story hit the national news and Jacobs appeared in a Fox News interview.

"The public portion was canceled because we’re getting a lot of negative feedback from a number of different sources that affect how we do business in the city,” Jacobs told the Daily News. "The message we were trying to make 10 days ago got out well. We had some positive feedback, but once it gets outside our area the message gets convoluted. People read a lot more into it than we meant."

The police recovered one gun, said Jacobs, and noted that the homeowner was aware of the weapons and wanted it taken away.

Jacobs said he never thought there would be many searches, but the point of the program was that safety would start in their own homes.

"Most people in Beloit get that. They know they need to take responsibility," Jacobs told The Daily News. "It’s up to the people in the community to be responsible for the safety in their houses and into their neighborhoods."

Jacobs noted that the city experienced 51 incidents of shots fired in the city this past year, and six out of the eight homicides that occurred were gun related.

Several other cities have attempted similar initiatives, reports The Daily Caller. Boston and the District of Columbia both in 2008 launched "Safe Homes" in which a resident or informer could alert police to an illegal weapon in a home.

Eventually, Washington dropped the program after there was widespread opposition, and the American Civil Liberties Union of Massachusetts protested against Boston's move. Further, not many people were willing to turn in their weapons in.

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City officials in Beloit, Wisconsin, have stepped in to stop the city police chief's push for citizens to allow police officers to search their homes, without a warrant, for firearms.
wisconsin, police, warrantless, search, firearms, guns
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2014-07-13
Saturday, 13 Dec 2014 12:07 PM
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