Carry, opened: fourth amendment victory.

Author:Doherty, Brian
Position:Citings - Matthew St. John gun possession case - Brief article

IN JUNE 2008, off-duty Air Force Staff Sgt. Matthew St. John was searched and detained for carrying a holstered gun in a movie theater in Alamogordo, New Mexico. But open carry is legal in New Mexico, so St. John sued the city, arguing that it had violated his Fourth Amendment rights. A federal court agreed, and in September 2009 the City of Alamogordo paid him $21,000 in damages and legal fees.

The officers who detained St. John claimed they were acting in their legitimate role as "community caretakers" when they grabbed him by both arms and physically removed him from the theater. As the court explained, "Under the community caretaker exception, officers may seize an individual in order to 'ensure the safety of the public and/or the individual.'" U.S. District Court...

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