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Name: United States v. Gust
Case #: 04-30208
Court: US Court of Appeals
District 9 Cir
Opinion Date: 04/26/2005

A district court erred in finding that the defendant had no legitimate expectation of privacy in a locked container on the ground that it was readily identifiable as a gun case. The Ninth Circuit held that the “single-purpose container” rule required the court to consider social norms rather than law enforcement expertise. Although police officers testified in this case that based on their experience the plastic case at issue here was of a type well known to contain firearms, the evidence established that the container was nearly identical to certain types of guitar cases. Disregarding police testimony based on specific law enforcement experience, the Ninth Circuit found no other evidence tending to show that the plastic case would be identified by the general public as a gun case.