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I completely understand the motivation behind Missouri legislators’ desire to protect the gun rights of their citizenry. I’m a strong proponent of the Second Amendment and have always respected those rights during my four decades in law enforcement. The problem with this statute is the poorly worded language that removes sovereign immunity and appears to allow law enforcement agencies and individual police officers to be sued for even good faith justified seizures of firearms in emergency circumstances.

Every police department in the country seizes weapons during arrests for criminal activity or when they feel it is immediately necessary to protect someone who may be suicidal or threatening to harm others. This statute allows that officer to be sued if the individual believes that seizure ‘infringed upon their second amendment rights.’ This vague language will create a flood of weaponized litigation that will chill the legitimate peace keeping duties of police. This will decrease public safety and increase frivolous lawsuits designed to harass and penalize good hard working law enforcement agencies.  Highly effective partnerships between local and federal law enforcement agencies will have to be reevaluated.

I’m not willing to risk my family’s financial future on a poorly written piece of legislation that opens me and my fellow officers up to being sued even when they act lawfully and appropriately. In the current national environment of hostility towards law enforcement, the legislature appears to have handed anti-police activists a powerful weapon to abuse and torment law enforcement across the State of Missouri. They need to recognize their mistake and immediately go back to the drawing board.  Unfortunately, until they do, I am going to have to step away from a job I truly love.

— Former O’Fallon, Missouri Police Chief Philip Dupuis


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    • Steal is oftentimes the correct term. I have a brother-in-law who may not be the sharpest tool in the shed, and I often question his judgement. The cops who questioned his judgement have on more than one occasion confiscated shotguns and other weapons that were never returned. When a judge ordered the return of weapons, the weapons were mysteriously missing from the evidence room. Imagine that. Any one of us would probably go to jail for contempt of court in similar situations, but cops are immune from that kind of thing.

  1. Key phrase: ” even when they act lawfully and appropriately.”

    The DEA, ATF, and FBI, among others, act in unconstitutional and inappropriate manners. There is much wrong with gun control, and this guy can’t understand that. Rather than uphold the law, he resigns in protest against the law.

    This makes me think that he should never have been in law enforcement.

    • No, he doesn’t. Cops have been using and abusing seizure of property for years, especially regarding guns. Screw him and every statist pig like him who demands the right to steal from citizens with complete immunity.

    • udayeti…He was heard loud and clear because he is/was the chief of police and now he is receiving the response he deserves. After 40 years of covering up he finally showed his true colors. Better late than never…don’t you think?

    • He has been heard.

      Argument from authority bears little weight, when higher authority overrides your authority. He has been heard, he has been dismissed.

    • He was listened to way too long already. He is mad that that his superhero outfit will no longer protect him when he and those under his command abuse people under color of law. Good cops are extremely valuable public servants but without liability very few of them exist after a few years of wearing the ring of power.

    • After 40 Years I’m sure he’s leaving on a golden pension thanks to taxpayers for another 20-30 years. He’s probably making a splash exiting so he can be a FUDD expert by MSNBC.

    • The ex chief may have 40 years of experience, however he is far from being an expert on the 2A. One has to wonder, just what did he learn in those 4 decades!

      • I know a couple who have served that long and got more incompetent year by year. As my old cross-country coach used to say, experience is only valuable if you’re using it to do better.

    • Absolutely not, he is really gonna whine when qualified immunity goes away not just for 2nd amendment crimes.

      If I screw up I go to jail why police get a pass except in extremely blatant violations and even then many are not prosecuted is beyond me.

      The police are nothing more that one of the standing armies the founders of this country warned us of. Think about it, unelected Governement representatives can come and kidnap and or imprison you for any manor of crimes they deem you have committed. The whole system needs a major revamp if not abolishment.

    • “The law is a ass.”

      Probably intentionally. “The law”, whatever that is, is a playground for unintended consequences (or maybe intentional consequences declared to be “unintentional).

      With “sovereign immunity” (which is an overstatement because the issue is “limited immunity”), LE is essentially invulnerable to malicious behavior colored as “good faith effort”. Striping “immunity” puts LE is jeopardy of being individually sued for “wrongful something”. A consequence of that potential liability might just result in conditions nobody wants; action-reaction.

      “The law is a ass.”

      • Hey, Sam!

        The concept is qualified immunity, not sovereign immunity. The former refers to agents of the state being protected from personal liability for actions taken under the auspices of state authority. The latter refers to the government itself being immune from being sued by its citizens for wrongful actions/violation of rights.

        • Hi, Chip

          Where you been?

          From the article:
          “The problem with this statute is the poorly worded language that removes sovereign immunity…”

        • No rest for the weary…

          I picked up on his use of sovereign immunity – a Freudian slip, if ever I saw one. Given that I’m all but certain MO law does not deign to give the State (or its LEO) sovereign immunity, I’ll go out on a limb and guess that the law in question does not strip said, nonexistent sovereign immunity from LEO.

      • Hundreds of cases have been brought to light of law enforcement violating people’s rights, and getting away with it because qualified immunity.

        And, you err with the “limited immunity”. There are no effective limits to what a cop can get away with. The term is “qualified immunity”. And, there never was a law passed giving cops that immunity. An activist Supreme Court created that fiction on a whim. It’s a legal fiction, created by the court, to avoid actually addressing the issue brought before it.

        • “Qualified immunity” sets “limits” on immunity, does it not?

          The police chief complained of the removal of “sovereign” immunity. I was pointing out the chief’s error.

  2. Uh…The police are sued everyday for doing stupid things and that applies to everyone who does stupid things. Avoid doing stupid things helps a lot towards not being sued. I believe the law is more about protecting citizens who own firearms that certain people and their useful idiots have a problem with. You know the very exact kind of people who had a problem with Blacks and Jews owning firearms.

    The threats of knocking your doors down, ransacking your home looking for firearms are now an everyday occurrence so to maintain peace a law was enacted in MO.

    Ding dong the chief who “strongly supported the 2A” is gone.

  3. That is easy. Have a LEO at the scene while another asks a judge to sign a warrant. A couple of hours to obey the law. Taking away someone’s rights or freedom is a big deal.
    If the judge doesn’t sign, it is on him – and the 2 hours onsite for the LEO is just 2 hours he won’t spend signing in the firearms and eating kale(or maybe delicious round pieces of dough with a hole in the center).

    • Exactly correct Paul. Why is this so hard to figure out? It’s almost as though powerful people don’t want to actually solve the problem. How long does it take to get a search warrant under time critical conditions? Usually less than 2 hours I’d guess.

      • Both of you are right in my opinion.

        Your question on the time it takes to get a warrant under time-critical conditions? Answer; in the USA we’ve long had the option of a telephonic warrant for emergency conditions. This option needs to be facilitated to the point of 100% functionality as the requirement or the final execution of the hard copy of the warrant must still be executed in reasonable time afterwards.

  4. This is what happens, and righteously so, when the communists in our nation in political positions press for the unconstitutional red flag laws. Clearly the only time firearms should be seized without a warrant and with an on-the-spot decision is if they are being recovered as stolen property and ONLY then should be taken when an LEO supervisor signs a receipt for property confiscated detailing the firearms taken. The only other such seizure can occur when a person is incapacitated with severe injury and folks in the final moments of committing suicide.

    All other times when firearms are taken is when there is a warrant specifically detailing how that should be done. We are SUPPOSEDLY innocent until proven guilty so we should have no problems recovering firearms confiscated by LEO(s) when it is time to do so and at no time whatsoever should firearms be destroyed as they can be turned over to a relative or sold to the public if they can’t be returned to the owner.

    When firearms are discovered “missing” from an evidence or property room heads must roll until they magically reappear.

    An LEO supervisor resigns in anguish but how long has he been in a responsible position to stop the unlawful nonsense from happening that was used as a basis for passing the legislation he resigned over?

  5. TIL the Chief of Police in O’Fallon, MO, believes that police officers have sovereign immunity. That might explain why he thinks police should get to violate constitutionally protected rights of their fellow citizens, with impunity. He very well may fully respect the second amendment, but he doesn’t seem to hold the fourth and fifth amendments in the same regard.

  6. “..This vague language will create a flood of weaponized litigation that will chill the legitimate peace keeping duties of police….”

    No, it will not. What it will do is chill the BS and make the police be correct when confiscating firearms. Same arguments heard when Body Cameras first arrived on the scene.

    Also, I never quite understood the whole suicide prevention thing surrounding firearms. Sure firearms are quick, messy, and convenient, but is so is jumping in front a bus or off a bridge. If someone is intent on checking out of the net they’ll find a way without a firearm.

    • I could walk to a bridge if so inclined, not that I would. Therr is zero rationale to thinking some one motivated won’t find a way. I mean hell Hillary even had Epstein appear to kill himself in a high security jail on suicide watch.

  7. Folks, it’s apparent that most if not all the commenters have never experienced how even frivolous lawsuits can eff up your life. Yeah, sure, even if a judge tosses it (never a guarantee even on the most ridiculous matters) you’re still being drug into court and your name is still getting dragged through mud.

    • Consider it to be “blowback” for the decades when cops were relatively free to violate people’s rights. Cops have got away with a lot of wrongdoing since the Supreme Court created this “qualified immunity”, without much qualification to it. It’s time to pay the fiddler. Cops really should be held to a higher standard than the average dumbass on the street.

      • Cops ARE held to a higher standard than the average Joe on the street. You’ll find that (if you do original research, not internet roaming) that even though LEOs are almost routinely assaulted, prosecutions are uncommon and that everyone gets away with dishonesty in court except LEOs.

        Frankly, you’re far more likely to become the victim of a medical error than legitimately having your civil rights violated (sorry, getting caught and called to task when you’re in the wrong does not count as a violation even if it does hurt your feelings) and also far more likely to become the victim of medical malpractice than police brutality. Do you want to speak of “qualified immunity”? Consider this…in many states if you want to sue for medical malpractice you have to get another licensed physician to sign off on it before you even file…now imagine if that pertained to LEO.

        Sorry about that DUI you may have picked up, or the humiliation of receiving a speeding ticket…either way, get over it and step outside and grow up…or go to college and lose some weight so you can become an LEO…

        • Hardly a convincing argument. Statistically, you’re far more likely to become the victim of medical malpractice than ANY other professional malpractice, because medical malpractice is #1 in that column and has been for decades. Saying “cops are better” is a cheap guaranteed win. Try again.

    • Is there some reason that the State, the Police Union, and/or other entities that currently mount (and fund) defenses for LEO would no longer do so, under this MO law?

      And not to put too fine a point on it, but: with great power comes great responsibility. If LEO don’t want to get sued, some of them need to be a little less cavalier about infringing upon constitutionally protected rights of due process, the presumption of innocence, and security in property free from seizure.

      • At least they get their day in court before they (not them personally but usually the department) have to pay. With civil asset forfeiture the man can jack your stuff and you then have to go to court (a.k.a. pay money) to get it back . . . if it has not already been sold or destroyed.

    • @Artic

      I’m not interested messing up a cops career or life, but as Chip stated…”little less cavalier..” is in order when it comes to Constitutional protected Rights. I believe that hard-core, not just pencil whipping, continuing education and training should be pushed hard. Yes, it will cost alot of money to increase a police department’s size where for every 24 hours of shifts said police person spends 4 hours in the classroom, range, or training facility.

      So many videos out there that show police officers with very, very low knowledge, or dated knowledge. I say NO! Not good enough! Society must demand better.

      • remember a sheriff’s deputy defiantly telling me “I know the law!”,…when it turned out he actually didn’t…it happens…

  8. @Chip Bennett

    “I’ll go out on a limb and guess that the law in question does not strip said, nonexistent sovereign immunity from LEO.”


    • Poor baby…”now we don’t get protection for acting like Stasi po-leece”. Sez it all. Cop’s ain’t yer friend.

  9. “Cop’s ain’t yer friend.”

    Cops is employees of the taxpayer; hired to do a job. They’s accountable to they employer.

    Which opens an interesting question about taxpayers having to payout when they employees cause inexcusable dammage.

    “The law is a ass.”

  10. Tyrant.

    They can manipulate the situations that dictate their use of force and use “suicidal or a danger to themselves and others” as a means to infringe upon your rights, but they don’t like it when you actually know your rights. I suggest people start watching channels like Audit the Audit. I’ve only seen maybe one cringe video in the months I have been watching, but still, the facts remained that tyrants were out of line. I also actually, for the first time last week, saw someone racially profiled on an officers body cam. Not saying it didn’t happen before, or that police are racist, but the video I saw was totally fit for that narrative and there truly was no refuting it. It was terrible. I don’t focus on race and anyone who has seen my comments here knows I don’t side with the BLM crap, or any part crap for that matter… But Audit the Audit shows some seriously decent ways to not be a dick about standing your ground, even as much as you want to be a dick sometimes about it, especially when a tyrant is well beyond the reach of the law and trying to detain you. Know your rights. Their job is to work around then and manipulate you into waving them.

  11. Seizures during arrests and questioning has been ruled as constitutional for over 50 years. In Terry v. Ohio and others, the SC has already ruled that police may temporarily detain people, and they may remove weapons from them during that detention. Once the traffic stop or questioning is over, the property is returned if the person isn’t arrested. That covers his arrest concern.
    Under which law is he suggesting taking guns from a “suicidal” person? Does MO let police officers make psychological evaluations and strip citizens of their rights? If he’s talking about arresting a person or taking them for involuntary psychiatric evaluation, then it’s a detention allowing removal of weapons on the person. If not, an arbitrary denial of rights without due process is a violation of rights and should be prevented.
    Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.

  12. Dear Former Chief Duffus….er, Dupuis…..suonds like you won’t be missed. Probably now applying for Fed position to confiscate guns. Don’t come back to Missouri.

  13. “…good faith justified seizures of firearms in emergency circumstances…”
    This fellow.

    “The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects,[a] against unreasonable searches and seizures, shall not be violated, and no Warrants shall issue, but upon probable cause, supported by Oath or affirmation, and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized” – 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

    All law enforcement should be required to read and understand basic Constitutional Law (i.e. tested on it at the academy). They need to eat, sleep and breathe that document. Full stop.

    • They are. At least in every academy in this state. They also understand “exigent circumstances” very well.

      I’m not a cop superfan, nor do I place them on a pedestal. However, I do read case law as well as statute and unlike most on these discussions, I also lead a successful career outside the home.

      Many, if not most, on these comment lines seem to be people that wanted to be LEO but couldn’t qualify or just simply didn’t have the nerve to step up…then they get defensive and deny it publicly…then weep privately.

      Of course, the distaste for government didn’t stop many of these commenters from applying for a “disability” when they separated from the military, if they served at all…or applying for unemployment when their seasonal construction jobs run their course.

  14. Hahaha. I always enjoy reading the couch potato theorists and wannabes on this forum. Yeah, you’re not a loser, just keep telling yourself that before your next shift at Walmart or collecting your next SSI check.

    The fact is, almost all state and local LEOs do take their roles as public servants very seriously and everyone should be wary of online forums of folks judging LEOs who’ve never once filled their day with everyone else’s “worst days of their lives.”

    Sorry, there’s no vast conspiracy here. You got your tickets because you were driving like an idiot in a beater car unsafe for the road, etc.

    • It is a truism that power, especially with usual lack of liability, corrupts. It has been observed and confirmed for millennia. Your assertion that cops are magically immune to this natural law is the irrational and counter productive one.

        • That doesn’t refute my assertion in the slightest. Anyone give power with out sufficient counterbalancing liability will become corrupt. It is not particular to police, it happens in all professions that empower. The point is that cops are like everyone else in this moral vulnerability. Also I have been so sued, last year by an attorney secretary of an HOA. This happens to non-cops too.

  15. “Hello, everyone. I’ve been in law enforcement for 40 years and I’m retiring, but I’d like to take this opportunity to do a little grandstanding. I’m a citizen given the power of arrest, but I believe all cops are actually above the law and The Constitution unlike the the rest of you serfs. So now I’ll retire, but not say I’m retiring to make my point.”

  16. Good on this former chief for recognizing that law enforcement was not a good career choice. The Constitution and the rights of the citizens are above what this cop wants. Let others with his attitude quit their jobs as well.

  17. Citizens have always the right to sue anyone at anytime for any reason. The difference here is the new law gives them some grounds to prevent a law suit against improper seizure from being routinely rejected by a judge.

    The former chief of police would have done better to figure out that not all seizures are just even if they are legal under the law. It is those unjust seizures and the failure of police leadership to right their own ships that bring about such laws.

  18. Good faith justified seizures.
    Evidently he doesn’t have much faith in his justifications or he would not be concerned with getting sued.

    Ahhh shucks

  19. He was interim police chief when the city lost it’s liability coverage and then hired without considering any other candidates causing a controversy on O’Fallon city council on top of other accusations of corruption the council was facing. He’s probably virtue signaling on his way out.

  20. Cops shouldn’t do things by feelings.

    They do need better training about the Supreme law of the land and what exactly they are enforcing regarding peaceable citizens

    Police should be integrated into society and not seen as a separate entity. That way each can help keep the other in check and be more responsive to problems in a community yet respecting places of liberty they are not allowed to tread.

    Some police probably need to be sued, and or arrested and prosecuted.

  21. “I’m not willing to risk my family’s financial future on a poorly written piece of legislation that opens me and my fellow officers up to being sued even when they act lawfully and appropriately.”

    So, to protect my family financially, I am going to quit my job. Does this idiot even realize how stupid he is?


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