Seizure of Personally Owned Weapons and the UCMJ

Click to Call 253-317-8494

The firm often fields questions about whether or not the command or police authorities can seize personally owned weapons from service members. As many issues in the law, it depends.

A search warrant or other valid authority is required for law-enforcement to search for evidence, but there are other legal reasons why law-enforcement may be able to enter a private residence, even without a warrant. One of those reasons is to seize firearms under a court order or commander’s order.

Civilian judges regularly issue protective orders that require people to surrender their personally owned firearms to the police. These court orders can give police authority to come into the home and collect firearms, depending on the specifics of that state law. Sometimes that process involves a warrant, sometimes not, and really depends on the state and its local laws.

Commanders have a lot of power over individual servicemembers, especially when they suspect misconduct has been committed.

Under the UCMJ, a “search authorization” is the equivalent of a warrant. A warrant or authorization is NOT required for a unit to collect firearms from a Soldier’s residence. Understand that as frustrating as it may be, a commander may order a service member to surrender their weapons, and, as part of enforcement of that order, unit representatives may enter a home and collect weapons if they know that the weapons are in that home. This typically happens because the servicemember resides in military quarters and has registered those weapons with the installation.

We understand more than most that having the police or unit come enter your home and seize your personal property and particularly your firearms can be an upsetting event. Seizure of your personally owned firearms and entry of your residence can feel like an invasion and as though your most solemn rights are being violated. Stress is compounded, especially if the seizure is related to you being under investigation. We strongly encourage anyone who has suffered a seizure of their personally owned weapons from their residence to seek the advice of an attorney, so they better understand what is happening. A firm that specializes in military justice can give you answers and help you protect yourself

You Might Also Like These Articles

 

How to Request Alternate Findings from the Approval Authority in an Army Regulation 15-6 Investigation

For those facing the challenge of disputing findings from a command investigation, seeking the advice and representation of private civilian counsel can be invaluable.

Does A Deferred Adjudication Impact Military Career?

You need to remember and realize that a deferred adjudication will always be seen as an admission of guilt no matter what it represents in the civilian court system.

Court Martial Bloopers Part 3

Court martial bloopers part three. So this one is Fort Riley, Kansas Circle around 2011. I'm prosecuting, I'm doing a special victim prosecution.

Leave a Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.