The Beloit, Wisconsin Police Department today withdrew an offer made by Chief Norm Jacobs to have officers search homes for firearms after publicity over the proposal created a public outcry across the Internet.
The announcement came from the office of City Manager Larry N. Arft. The three-paragraph announcement noted that, “While the program was strictly voluntary and required a signed release before police could enter a residence, numerous individuals have expressed concerns about the fact that people’s homes would be inspected or searched as part of the process.”
That much may be an understatement. Since the story first surfaced a few days ago, it has swept across the Internet. Gun rights activists across the country expressed concerns that this amounted to warrantless searches.
In an interview with Examiner, Beloit City Manager Larry Arft said the initial announcement by Chief Jacobs noted that there would have to be a signed release from the homeowner or tenant before an officer would enter the premises. That, however, seemed to disappear in the discussion to the point that Arft said the proposal, “got grossly misrepresented in the social media.”
He told Examiner that the proposal was not submitted to the legal office for review before it went public. Now that the plan has been withdrawn, the press release did say that the department would be submitting the plan to the legal office “for further review.” Arft noted, however, that he doubts it will be offered again because there is already a mechanism for people to report guns to police to have them removed from private property.
Read the rest of the article: http://www.examiner.com/article/breaking-beloit-police-withdraws-chief-s-offer-of-home-searches-for-guns