City government refuses to return guns to burglary victim after thieves stole them

Fear and loathing of the Second Amendment is alive and well in many of America’s largest cities, most of which are run by far-Left authoritarian Democrats who only believe in and support the parts of the Constitution that serve their needs, interests and political objectives.

As reported by Courthouse News Service, a security guard in Cleveland is having trouble getting back guns that were stolen from him. In court papers filed recently, Brian Bridges says city police won’t release his firearms used as evidence following an incident in his home where he was forced to shoot and kill a home invader – despite the fact that the case against an accomplice of the intruder has been decided.

As such, Bridges has been forced to sue the city of Cleveland, along with its mayor, Frank Johnson, and police chief, Calvin Williams, in Cuyahoga County Court of Common Pleas, charging them with violating his Second and Fourth Amendment rights. (Related: Read Democrat Senators Protected By Armed Guards Are Pushing To Enact New Gun Control Measures.)

Courthouse News noted further:

In March 2015, Bridges came home to find two men robbing his house. During the ensuring confrontation, Bridges fatally shot one of the invaders, Joseph Eason.

“The shooting was in self-defense and was justifiable,” Bridges’ lawsuit states. The other suspect, Anthony Akins-Daniels, escaped, but he was eventually found and arrested. He pleaded guilty to involuntary manslaughter for causing the death of his “best friend,” Eason.

Following the incident, Bridges says police unlawfully took possession of some of his property, which included “a Glock 21 semiautomatic handgun, ammunition, holsters and a redcherry piccolo” as evidence in the case involving Akins-Daniels.

But those proceedings have concluded, and yet Cleveland Police have still not returned Bridges’ guns, he said in his suit – also noting that he is a professional security guard who has a license to carry a handgun concealed.

In his complaint, Bridges is suing for replevin and for violations of the Second and Fourth Amendments to the Constitution. The suit also claims that Bridges’ Fifth Amendment was violated, in that his property was taken without due process of law and without just compensation. He is seeking $20,000 in compensatory damages and an additional $50,000 in punitive damages.

Further, he is asking for an injunction against the city to prevent further enforcement of “any policy and/or actions that infringe upon a lawful gun owner’s right to keep and bear arms.”

This case should never happen for a number of reasons.

White it is understandable that police would want to retrieve Bridges’ weapon as part of an investigation into the shooting, once the case has been resolved the department should waste no time in returning this man’s property to him. He has a legal, statutory and constitutional right to it, as property cannot be seized unreasonably, as per the Fourth Amendment.

Also, citizens should not have to resort to the expense and inconvenience of hiring an attorney and going to court to force the city to do what it ought to have done anyway – return the property as it had no further use of it. (Related: Read Gun Buyback Hoax Exposed: Police Departments Actually Sell The Guns For Profit.)

According to the complaint, Bridges has asked for his property to be returned on numerous occasions – the most recent of which was April 20 – but was unsuccessful, prompting him to file the suit, which claims that the police department says they cannot and will not return the property unless ordered to do so by a court.

There is no good reason other than malice for a department to continue withholding someone’s property in this or any other case. The very reason why it was confiscated – as evidence in a trial – has been satisfied. It is particularly galling that an American citizen would be forced to sue a city just to get back property that is rightfully and legally his. Had that property not consisted of a firearm, you have to wonder if any of this would even be happening.

Our founders would have been outraged.

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J.D. Heyes is a senior writer for and, as well as editor of The National Sentinel.





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