Owner gets back guns taken by police

This is a discussion on Owner gets back guns taken by police within the The Second Amendment & Gun Legislation Discussion forums, part of the Related Topics category; When Lou Matteo got his handgun collection back, town police averted a legal battle based on a new U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding an individual's ...

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Thread: Owner gets back guns taken by police

  1. #1
    Senior Member Array mrreynolds's Avatar
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    Owner gets back guns taken by police

    When Lou Matteo got his handgun collection back, town police averted a legal battle based on a new U.S. Supreme Court decision upholding an individual's right to own a gun.

    Matteo, 75, turned over his firearms in March after a verbal spat with his wife led to an order of protection against him. Guilderland police refused to give the guns back, citing a federal law barring anyone under an order of protection from possessing firearms.

    But on June 26, the nation's high court struck down a District of Columbia ban on handguns. The ruling also said long-standing provisions barring handgun possession by felons did not violate the Second Amendment.

    Matteo has never been convicted of a crime, and his attorney, Tom Marcelle, said the Supreme Court ruling meant he was entitled to have his guns returned.

    Matteo's case is the second locally and one of many expected nationwide in the wake of last month's decision, called District of Columbia vs. Heller, challenging legislation that bans or limits handgun ownership.

    "Without the D.C. case, we have no case. 'Heller' basically was an invitation for people to test Second Amendment cases," said Marcelle, who won a 2001 Supreme Court case that allowed an after-school Bible study group in Otsego County.

    In one of the first challenges under the landmark ruling, a Schenectady man is seeking dismissal of charges that he lied because he failed to disclose he was the subject of a protective order when he filled out a form used for background checks on people purchasing a firearm.

    In March, Matteo was accused of ripping the phone from his wife's hand when she tried to call police to report his verbal abuse, according to court records. Guilderland police issued an order of protection, and he turned over the guns, which are registered and possessed legally.

    A week later, however, the case was dismissed by Town Justice John Bailey, who ordered Matteo's guns be returned.

    The Matteos said they no longer even remember what prompted their quarrel. Marisol Matteo signed statements that her husband had never threatened her with a weapon and she was not concerned about him ever doing so. The domestic dispute case was over.

    But the order of protection remained. Marcelle said under the "Heller" decision, Matteo, a law-abiding citizen, was allowed to have his guns.

    Town Attorney Dick Sherwood denied any link between the Matteo case and the Supreme Court ruling. He said the town must follow the existing federal law: Returning the guns requires an order from federal court, not a town court.

    Matteo's guns were returned after he filed his case in federal court. Sherwood said a change in the law would eliminate an illogical legal process.

    "You have the power to take the guns away, you don't have the power to give them back," Sherwood said. "Our hands were tied."

    For Marcelle, it is only a matter of time before a town attorney somewhere tests the legal system by refusing to return guns to a person who has not been convicted of a crime, and that case will further define rights under the Second Amendment.
    Owner gets back guns taken by police

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  3. #2
    VIP Member Array ccw9mm's Avatar
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    ... citing a federal law barring anyone under an order of protection from possessing firearms.

    [But] Matteo has never been convicted of a crime ...
    IMO, that's the way it should be. Mere accusation means nothing. People have lots of motivations for crafting court orders to keep away from someone. Doesn't prove they're violent; it merely proves they've been accused. They're guilty of no such violence unless and until they engage in a violent action.

    Now, that said, there are indeed instances where there's a credible and verifiable threat. My comments aren't directed toward such situations that clearly warrant added precautions. Depends on the case and the circumstances in question.

    Hm. Perhaps we're beginning to witness a pinch of rationality returning. Wouldn't that be nice?
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    New Member Array samdavisrises's Avatar
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    "he turned over the guns, which are registered and possessed legally"

    The paper in from Albany, New York. I thought that guns were only registered in New York City, not statewide. How extensive is this?

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    Senior Member Array hudsonvalley's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by samdavisrises View Post
    "he turned over the guns, which are registered and possessed legally"

    The paper in from Albany, New York. I thought that guns were only registered in New York City, not statewide. How extensive is this?
    As far as I know.....in NY you register the handguns (in NYC long guns as well, you'll need a permit for long guns,) in the County where you live. From what I hear, some Counties take longer than others. In Orange County, you fill out a form ... Pistol License Amendments in Orange County NY by Orange County NY Shooters
    SASE and they mail you a 'coupon' to pick up the handgun after the Judge signs off on the coupon/amendment to your license. In NYC you beg Mayor Bloomberg to see the light.....okay, scratch that...not quite sure where that came from.....
    Government's first duty is to protect the people, not run their lives.
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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ccw9mm View Post
    IMO, that's the way it should be. Mere accusation means nothing. People have lots of motivations for crafting court orders to keep away from someone. Doesn't prove they're violent; it merely proves they've been accused. They're guilty of no such violence unless and until they engage in a violent action.

    Now, that said, there are indeed instances where there's a credible and verifiable threat. My comments aren't directed toward such situations that clearly warrant added precautions. Depends on the case and the circumstances in question.

    Hm. Perhaps we're beginning to witness a pinch of rationality returning. Wouldn't that be nice?
    I agree. My cousin was just killed by a guy in (the other guys) front yard (there's already a thread running). Family and friends, including his new girlfriends family, started laying wreaths at the curbside (on public property) but this guy went into court and got a restraining order against them. They had to sell their guns... unbelievable! They hadn't done anything other than mourn.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Just so you guys know, a R.O. has to be signed and approved by a judge, so you would think the elements of the case would at least have some merit to them.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    Just so you guys know, a R.O. has to be signed and approved by a judge, so you would think the elements of the case would at least have some merit to them.
    Harassment is evidently sufficient - such as placing wreaths in front of someone's home - As was the case with my relatives friends. I may be biased due to the circumstances but to me that's not a good reason to take someone's guns.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    Quote Originally Posted by matiki View Post
    Harassment is evidently sufficient - such as placing wreaths in front of someone's home - As was the case with my relatives friends. I may be biased due to the circumstances but to me that's not a good reason to take someone's guns.
    I agree, but there was a process in place to receive the P.O., and it sounds as if an elected official needs to be held accountable for what his office, appointees and employee's are doing.
    "Just blame Sixto"

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    VIP Member Array matiki's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SIXTO View Post
    I agree, but there was a process in place to receive the P.O., and it sounds as if an elected official needs to be held accountable for what his office, appointees and employee's are doing.
    I can definitely see it this way. Rather than the system it is how the system is used. Looking at how the case the OP posted played out... it looks like it's the application of the system that is being addressed. So that may net the results we need to fix these types of issues.
    "Wise people learn when they can; fools learn when they must." - The Duke of Wellington

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    There has to be some sort of middle ground on these issues. The courts are between a rock and a hard place. If they err on the side of not issuing the restraining order and something happens, they are in the hot seat. If they give an unwarranted r.o. there are complaints.

    The police darn well should not be able to hold a collection indefinitely. But, there certainly is some reasonable time frame during which these things should be taken after the order, and that might vary on the nature of the threat, the personal history of the accused etc.

    I know that the purists will disapprove of my position because of the precise wording of Heller; and that this will be litigated further in many jurisdictions.

    But, we are playing with the lives of real people in many circumstances if there can not be at least a temporary (maybe 30 day) cooling off during which weapons are taken. There might be exceptions for the few who truly have occupations and living situations where they need to keep the weapon.

    NO ONE, and certainly not the shrinks, can predict future behavior. But past behavior is an indicator (except when buying stock).

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    Distinguished Member Array Stetson's Avatar
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    I am glad to see citizen getting back his firearms.We don't need anymore confiscations from any arm of goverment.I strongly suggest that all of us join one of the organizations that protect the 2and amendment and prevents stuff likes this from continuing to happen. How long did it take New Orleans
    citizens to get their firearms back ?I bet some are still in the warehouse authorities had no right taking them in the first place.

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