NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis


March 17, 2006

In the days following Hurricane Katrina, Americans watched in horror as law enforcement officers confiscated legally-possessed firearms from New Orleans residents, who were accused of no crimes.

But in the three months since Katrina, gun owners and their advocacy groups have cast the response to the hurricane as an assault on the Second Amendment, say observers:

  • In September 2005, the National Rifle Association (NRA) and the Second Amendment Foundation went to federal court and won a restraining order against local governments, preventing further gun confiscations.
  • Second Amendment attorney Stephen Halbrook and other advocates also persuaded the Federal Emergency Management Agency to reverse a policy barring weapons from temporary housing developments for evacuees.
  • State legislators in Florida introduced a bill that would block gun confiscations after hurricanes.

Gun-ownership advocates vow to ramp up their grassroots efforts by reviewing emergency-powers legislation in every state and at the federal level, and to push other gun-ownership protections.

The events in New Orleans have done more than anything else to rally gun owners, who had drifted toward complacency over the past few years as their opponents in the gun control movement suffered numerous legislative and electoral defeats.

New Orleans was the first city in American history to disarm peaceable American citizens door to door at gunpoint, says NRA Chief Executive Wayne LaPierre, and it must be the last.

Source: Brian Friel, "NRA's Cry: 'Remember New Orleans,'" National Journal, November 19, 2005.


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