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A photo of a sign that reads “No Firearms”. A playground can be seen in the background.
A “No Firearms” sign is posted at Binghamton Park in Memphis, Tennessee, demonstrating that the right to possess a gun is not absolute. (credit: modification of work by Thomas R Machnitzki)

The third amendment

The Third Amendment says in full:

“No Soldier shall, in time of peace be quartered in any house, without the consent of the Owner, nor in time of war, but in a manner to be prescribed by law.”

Most people consider this provision of the Constitution obsolete and unimportant. However, it is worthwhile to note its relevance in the context of the time: citizens remembered having their cities and towns occupied by British soldiers and mercenaries during the Revolutionary War, and they viewed the British laws that required the colonists to house soldiers particularly offensive, to the point that it had been among the grievances listed in the Declaration of Independence.

Today it seems unlikely the federal government would need to house military forces in civilian lodgings against the will of property owners or tenants; however, perhaps in the same way we consider the Second and Fourth amendments, we can think of the Third Amendment as reflecting a broader idea that our homes lie within a “zone of privacy” that government officials should not violate unless absolutely necessary.

The fourth amendment

The Fourth Amendment sits at the boundary between general individual freedoms and the rights of those suspected of crimes. We saw earlier that perhaps it reflects James Madison’s broader concern about establishing an expectation of privacy from government intrusion at home. Another way to think of the Fourth Amendment is that it protects us from overzealous efforts by law enforcement to root out crime by ensuring that police have good reason before they intrude on people’s lives with criminal investigations.

The text of the Fourth Amendment is as follows:

“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 amendment places limits on both searches and seizures : Searches are efforts to locate documents and contraband. Seizures are the taking of these items by the government for use as evidence in a criminal prosecution (or, in the case of a person, the detention or taking of the person into custody).

In either case, the amendment indicates that government officials are required to apply for and receive a search warrant    prior to a search or seizure; this warrant is a legal document, signed by a judge, allowing police to search and/or seize persons or property. Since the 1960s, however, the Supreme Court has issued a series of rulings limiting the warrant requirement in situations where a person can be said to lack a “reasonable expectation of privacy” outside the home. Police can also search and/or seize people or property without a warrant if the owner or renter consents to the search, if there is a reasonable expectation that evidence may be destroyed or tampered with before a warrant can be issued (i.e., exigent circumstances), or if the items in question are in plain view of government officials.

Questions & Answers

Can you explain the Stockdale Paradox
Patricia Reply
How the capital market can create a better future for all import and benefit
Egbo Reply
in the dred scott case what did the supreme court decide the Congress had no power to do
Kazi Reply
who was james madison
Ceceilia Reply
Founding Father who fought to add the Bill of Rights to the Constitution he helped write (called the "Father of the Constitution"). He and Jefferson didn't want the federal govt to overpower the states (Democratic-Republican party). Cowrote The Federalist Papers. 4th President of the US (1809-1817).
Aaron
hi
Serah
how are you doing
Bubacarr
hi
Nicole
hello
faithsia
who has the power to declare war
Fernandy Reply
president who is commander in chief
Abu
Adam the president
Talima
are spelled out in Constitution
leticia Reply
What is constituencies
Patrick Reply
is the body of voters who elect their representatives for their area
Ernest
Can you say is the process by which voters who elect their representatives for their area
Lydia
people respresenting Congress
Nicole
but are you sure?
Anna
so does anyone UNDERSTAND the laws of the CITY and the City Council...
Anna
the first Republic political parties
Baby Reply
how call government system in Zambia
esenam Reply
was it Britain that colonialised usa
Temiloluwa Reply
Yes because is in the document of Britain which it cannot be change.
Abu
what is Electoral malpractice
Bailey Reply
it is a practice which is against the rules of electoral activities(electoral commission ).
Abu
Electoral malpractice, is illegal interference with process of an election.
Tina
Clifford constitution of 1922
ABAH Reply
to this textbook which countries have the highest rates of execution?
michael Reply
What are the advantages and disadvantages of having so many levels of subnational governments in the United States? Explain
Nicole Reply
to help in protecting the right of the citizens, in safety purpose also if not many tribulation war and conflict in between the Nations and perhaps the citizens that is we really needs them.
Emmanuel
What are the advantages
maureen
what were the initial issues that led to the introduction of legislation
Benedicta Reply
Do the consideration and bill of rights protect the life and liberty of all Americans?
Benedicta
yes
Emmanuel
yeah
Akuchie

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Source:  OpenStax, American government. OpenStax CNX. Dec 05, 2016 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col11995/1.15
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