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The House Judiciary Committee in the Vermont legislature took a step towards infringing or out-right violating the 4th Amendment rights of Vermont’s legal gun owners. The 4th Amendment protects against illegal search and seizure:

“The right of the people to be secure in their persons, houses, papers, and effects, 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.”

The 4th Amendment was prompted due to the practices of the British prior to and during the Revolutionary War. Since they believed the King of England was sovereign over all of their lands and people and that the military were direct emissaries of the King that they had the right to enter the homes and businesses of colonists without cause or warrant. They would often seize firearms, ammunition, gun powder, gold, silver and other valuables in the name of the King.

If the British even suspected that someone was a Patriot or did not support British rule, the British would enter, search, seize and even arrest, based solely on suspicion or rumor. The British didn’t need a reason or a warrant to invade and ransack a home or business of a colonist.

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Hence, when the Framers set forth to write a Constitution and add the Bill of Rights, they sought to protect the citizens of the new nation from many of the invasive practices they endured at the hands of the British. They wanted to protect American citizens and their rights to property and privacy. They also wanted to ensure that proper legal procedures were followed when entering a citizen’s home or business.

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