Shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit the Gulf Coast, citizens of New Orleans had their firearms unlawfully confiscated under orders from former New Orleans Police Chief Eddie Compass. So during a time when the means of self-defense were most needed, the Second Amendment rights of the city’s law-abiding residents were swept away based on a gross misinterpretation of a suspect state emergency powers law.
After hearing about the illegal gun confiscations, the National Rifle Association (NRA) filed suit in federal court and obtained a preliminary injunction that stopped the gun seizure. Not only did New Orleans ignore the court ruling, it also claimed that the gun confiscations never occurred! The NRA then filed a motion for contempt that additionally ordered the return of all seized firearms.
Finally last Wednesday, in what was seen as as a “landmark victory for NRA and law-abiding gun owners,” Judge Carl J. Barbier of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana turned down a motion for dismissal by the City of New Orleans and held that,
…the Second Amendment applies to law-abiding residents in the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans.
Why the judge had to rule on this most basic of Constitutional rights was because the City of New Orleans attempted to justify the unjust seizure by claiming that the Second Amendment does not apply to residents in the State of Louisiana and the City of New Orleans! This should take care of any doubts about the true agenda of leftist functionaries and what would be in store for US citizens if they ever returned to power in our nation’s capital.
But the battle isn’t over in Louisiana. After denying for months that the city had ever confiscated any weapons, in March of this year, Mayor Nagin and the police department admitted in federal court that the firearms were stashed in two trailers. After agreeing to a process where the citizens could reclaim their firearms, the NOPD,
"…never notified gun owners how to claim their guns, and turned many away citing impossible standards for proof of ownership."
This sad state of affairs will possibly lead to more inquiries about the entire conduct of the NOPD, including accountability of the illegally confiscated guns. The Mayor’s defiance about returning these weapons leads to suspicions that a significant percentage of them are missing or stolen – probably at about the same rate that saw a number of “no-shows” of police officers in the critical days after the hurricane hit.
The suit must now proceed in a timely fashion since it appears that the chances of successfully reclaiming these firearms dwindle with each passing day.