The ACLU, not exactly known for being sympathetic to the right to keep and bear arms, is going to bat for a New Orleans man who had his gun confiscated. From the Associated Press:
The American Civil Liberties Union of Louisiana filed the federal lawsuit Thursday on behalf of Errol Houston Jr., who was arrested last year following a traffic stop. The lawsuit says the district attorney's office declined to prosecute Houston but has refused to return his .40-caliber firearm.
Why? After all:
"Mr. Houston has done nothing wrong. There are no criminal charges against him. His firearm, which he is and was entitled to carry, has been confiscated for no reason..."
District Attorney Leon Cannizzaro is not pleased:
Cannizzaro said he doesn't know why one of his predecessors refused to prosecute Houston, whom he said had a gun under the floor board of his car when police stopped him.
"I have a serious question as to why this charge was refused in the first place," he said.
With all due respect, Mr. DA, and it appears very little is due, that's not your call. As an officer of the court, sworn to uphold the law, you don't get to disregard it, or to make up edicts of your own.
This is the kind of authoritarian mentality that leads to "terror watch list" gun bans, to prior restraints, and to "no rights" lists where suspicion trumps all.
This is supposed to be America, Mr. Cannizzaro. If Mr. Houston is a menace to society, he needs to be charged, convicted and segregated from it. If you can't do that, our criminal justice system presumes his innocence.
Perhaps we ought to be assessing the danger of having a DA who ignores that, and who presumes to be a law unto himself.