In U.S. v. Franklin, No. 11-10555 (Sept. 7, 2012), the Court held that because of exigent circumstances, law enforcement did not violate a person’s Fourth Amendment rights when they entered his home without a warrant and seized rifles and sawed off shotguns.
After responding to a request from a Florida Probation Officer to assist him at Franklin’s home, a deputy sheriff went to the back of the house and saw several firearms in plain view through a rear window. There was another person in the house. Franklin ultimately emerged from the house to surrender. The police entered the house where they seized the rifles and shotguns.
The Court held that the law enforcement agents could reasonably have believed that the person inside the home could remove the rifles and shotguns before a search warrant could be obtained. Therefore, there was no Fourth Amendment violation.