If we were making a list of criminals infringing upon the rights of gun owners this police department would be in the top 10 on my list:
SAF Investigative Journalism Project
The Indianapolis Metropolitan Police Department has quietly tested every single recovered firearm – even those not used in the commission of crimes – without probable cause or a search warrant for as long as anyone at the department can recall, according to a story published recently by WISHTV.com.
Once the firearms were tested at the police department’s crime lab, the data was then sent to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, which used it to create an illegal gun registry.
Police admit they never obtained search warrants to test the firearms. The testing was done as a matter of policy, whether the guns were used in crimes, held for safekeeping or recovered through other means.
IMPD Assistant Police Chief Chris Bailey told reporters the practice started decades ago, and he confirmed that officers did not have probable cause or search warrants to conduct the tests.
“Not that we know of. We went back and checked how long this has been going on. A former employee who came on in 1973, and it was happening then in the 1970s, and she worked another 30 years here and retired a couple years ago,” Bailey told WISHTV.com. He added there are currently more than 21,000 firearms in IMPD’s property room.
“Let’s say you’re in a crash and knocked out. There’s a gun in your console. The officer can’t send the gun on the gurney with you to the hospital, so they take your gun, your wallet and your cellphone and put it in a bag marked ‘safe’ for safekeeping. Once you’re released from the hospital, you can get your cell and your wallet, but not your gun. You’ll be told IMPD has to ‘process’ it. Keep in mind they would need a search warrant to search your cellphone. Once the gun is tested, ATF now has a ‘fingerprint’ of your gun. Then, ATF will conduct a trace of your firearm and they’ll get the 4473. Six months later, IMPD will tell you that you need to provide proof of ownership, so you’ll need to go to the gun store where you bought it. It can take us several days to dig out the paper receipt. Now, IMPD has three things that identify you as the owner of the firearm, but you still can’t get your gun. You need to make an appointment with the department, get
fingerprinted and they’ll run a background check. If you’re lucky, in a year or two they will hand your firearm back,” Burge said.
Burge said he asked department officials numerous times to justify the process.
“If a laptop comes in, we can’t just turn it on without a search warrant. What gives them the right to ‘turn on’ a firearm?” he asked. “The average handgun people carry costs around $500. When they get the runaround from the city and go talk to an attorney for help – and attorneys don’t work for free – they’ll find out it could cost them around $10,000 to get back a $500 handgun. Most don’t. We’re talking about thousands of people who have been victimized.”
Someday I hope to enjoy their trial.