Today, Law Shield notes the 10-year anniversary of when Hurricane Katrina struck New Orleans and southern Mississippi — the devastation and resulting chaos is a tragedy that lingers to this day. But what the politicians did in the wake of the disaster should serve as a wake-up call to us all to be vigilant in protecting our Second Amendment rights.
It’s worth remembering that under duress, and unable to control the mayhem, local officials ordered the confiscation of lawful firearms from the citizens of New Orleans, effectively disarming the law-abiding firearm owners.
As reported by the Washington Post at the time, New Orleans Superintendent P. Edwin Compass said, “No one will be able to be armed,” and, “Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns.”
At the time, NRA Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre noted the nature of the seizures, stating, “In many cases, it was from their homes at gunpoint. There were no receipts given or anything else at a time when there was no 911 response and these citizens were out there on their own protecting their families.”
This action by Mayor Ray Nagin should not have been a surprise as was well known his very anti-gun position prior to the submerging of his city. He would later go on to become a member of Michael Bloomberg’s Mayor’s Against Illegal Guns — before Nagin was convicted in 2014 for fraud and bribery. He’s now federal inmate No. 32751-034.
A suit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana against New Orleans halted the city’s confiscation efforts, when, on September 23, 2008 Judge Jay Zainey granted a temporary restraining order barring New Orleans and the surrounding communities from further confiscations, and required that the seized guns be returned.
It took until October, 2008, for New Orleans to agree to carry out an acceptable procedure for returning the firearms. The agreement allowed owners to get back their guns without documented proof of ownership, which many residents were understandably unable to provide.
The push to confiscate firearms continues unabated today, just in different forms — attempts to ban guns or accessories by the Social Security Administration, the Veterans Administration, various state laws, and some city ordinances as well. It’s worth Law Shield members recalling that gun confiscation happened in this country by force of arms only a decade ago. It can, and did, happen here.
Be aware of the efforts of others to take away your guns – protect your Second Amendment rights.