Missouri Man Who Accidentally Shot Himself Sues Police For Taking His Guns

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March 13, 2014 2:09 p.m.

A Kearney, Mo. man who accidentally shot himself in November decided to sue the town’s police department for seizing his firearms, the Kearney Courier reported Thursday.

Terry Coleman accidentally discharged a rifle in a closet inside his home, according to the Courier. When police and medical personnel responded to the incident, they secured Coleman’s guns in the home while he was being treated. They then held his three firearms at the Kearney Police Station until he asked for them back.

In his lawsuit, Coleman claims that police did not have a right to take his weapons, and that the seizure was disruptive to his medical treatment, according to the Courier.

Coleman’s lawyer, Walter Simpson, told the Courier that he has not yet gotten his guns back.

“I know that a friend of Mr. Coleman’s contacted the police department, and he would like to come by and pick up his guns. He was told that Mr. Coleman had to provide proof of ownership of the guns, which seems ridiculous to me,” Simpson said. “They know where they got them. They took them from his house.”

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Kearney Mayor Bill Dane said that the police officers were simply following standard protocol.

“The police have always taken any weapon, because it is a crime,” he told the Courier. “That’s standard procedure, and it will always be standard procedure. So the police didn’t do anything wrong. All they did was follow policy and procedure.”

In the lawsuit, Coleman also said that police officers aggravated his post traumatic stress disorder, for which he has been ordered to seek treatment. Dane said he couldn’t comment on Coleman’s condition.

“I’m talking about anyone who suffers from mental illness, in my opinion, should not be in possession of firearms,” Dane told the Courier.

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