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Decision in US v. Scroggins Addresses Fourth and Second Amendment Issues

By FindLaw Staff on March 04, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

In US v. Scroggins, No. 08-10966, a defendant appealed his conviction for possession of a firearm by a convicted felon claiming "that the government obtained evidence necessary to his conviction in violation of the Fourth Amendment and that his conviction is unconstitutional in light of the Second Amendment."

However, the circuit court affirmed, finding that: 1) the district court did not clearly in err in finding that defendant's fiancee consented, at least implicitly, to the officers entering defendant's home; 2) the officers were justified in conducting a protective sweep upon entry due to potential danger; and 3) if a protective sweep for potentially dangerous individuals located such an individual, police could detain and frisk the subject, and, if necessary, temporarily handcuff or otherwise reasonably immobilize him.

Furthermore, the Second Amendment argument fell short as "...those arguments are foreclosed by our circuit's existing precedent. Prior to Heller, this circuit had already recognized an individual right to bear arms, and had determined that criminal prohibitions on felons (violent or nonviolent) possessing firearms did not violate that right....Dicta in Heller states that the opinion should not "be taken to cast doubt on long-standing prohibitions on possession of firearms by felons," 128 S. Ct. at 2816-17, and we have reaffirmed our prior jurisprudence on this point since Heller was decided."

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