You could view it that way. The real issue in this case was not guns though. The issue that was addressed was the warrantless entry into the home.
The most sacred part of the Fourth Amendment is being secure in your home. These cases start out under the premise that all entries into a home are unlawful without a warrant unless with consent. Then there are exceptions all based on an emergency. This case in my opinion doesn’t deal with firearms but the entry. Let’s say that they unlawfully entered looking for the handguns but didn’t find them. Once inside they seized illegal drugs that they viewed. In my opinion it is the exact same case. Nothing changes except what was seized. Had the police seized a pound of cocaine, it would have probably have the exact same outcome. It would not change from a gun case to a drug case. It was a warrantless entry case under the claim of an emergency. SCOTUS said this was not an emergency.
About 3 hours before this thread was started, a detective texted me a link to the case and his opinion was, why such a case took so long to get to the Court as it seemed like a clear cut bad entry. My guess is that they might have been waiting on the right case or the trial courts and lower appeals courts were handling it. I have read and teach a few cases where the lower court makes a ruling and then a unanimous or 8-1 SCOTUS slaps them down. Those are kind of like, how stupid can you be?
One such case was mentioned in this ruling, Brigham City v. Stuart. In that case the Utah SC ruled against the police. What did the police witness? A guy getting beat up pretty bad to the point of serious injury or maybe even death. The police entered to save the guy’s life as they were watching the assault through a glass door. Utah said, hey you didn’t have a warrant so your warrantless entry into the home was illegal. SCOTUS then slapped the Utah SC in a unanimous decision saying, what is the heck were you thinking? What were the police going to do, say sorry ma’am but we didn’t have a warrant so we let several guys beat your son to death in front of us. No, that is a very good example of an exigent circumstance. Just like this case was unanimous for no entry without a warrant, Brigham City was a unanimous case that entry without a warrant was absolutely legal. Time and emergency are the issues.
So sometimes SCOTUS will take almost a no brainer case just to remind the courts that all searches are not prohibited, only unreasonable ones.
This is one of the no-brainer cases. It really does not set much of a precedent and just reaffirms previous court cases. They do that from time to time to remind the government/police what the rules are.
In this case they changed nothing. They mention in the opinion that the police could still go into a home without a warrant but for many years there has been the requirement of an exigent or emergency circumstance. In prior court cases they use the explanation that an emergency is way you do not have to have to get a warrant. The police cannot go around the warrant requirement simply by saying it is an emergency. There has to be some kind of backing (usually described as “articulable facts”).
In this case the guy voluntarily submitted himself for an evaluation, the police lied to his wife about what he said and then there was no immediate threat since he was gone.
This again just re-affirmed previous cases. There needs to be an emergency and there must be no time for a warrant. Neither of those things existed in this case.
like I said, every once in a while the supreme court will basically rule almost identical to a prior case it seems to me more like a reminder. The reminder might be sent to the lower courts because like in this case the lower federal court sided with the police. Sometimes the SCOTUS rulingS say… duhhhh.... circuit court, did you judges read our prior decisions?
This would not have even made the news had a firearm not been the means by which the police claimed the ability to go into a house without a warrant. SCOTUS Mike issue about 120 decisions per session at most simply do not make the news. This is more like Clickbait. it is interesting but still,.....