Monday, May 02, 2005

US v. Gust

No. 04-3028 (4-26-05). The police received a report of gun fire on private property in a "no shooting" zone. He went to investigate and found several persons, including the defendant, walking with cases in their arms. Defendant explained that they had been target shooting and had received permission to do so. There was no warrant on defendant. The police nonetheless searched the case without a warrant and without consent. The officer found a sawed off shotgun. The district court denied the motion to suppress, writing that it was obvious what was sin the case, and so it was akin to "plain view." The 9th didn't go that far, and indeed reversed. The 9th reasoned that indeed some containers were such that it was obvious what was in it (tuba?) but that the test was an "objective" one. Here, the case was not transparent, and that to the untrained eye (and even to the police officer), it was not obvious that a firearm was in the case. Have gun, will travel with the 4th amend.'s protection.

Congrats to AFPD Gerald Smith of E.D. Wash & Idaho for the win.


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