Thursday, July 13, 2006
You might remember that back in April, GOA alerted you to Emergency Protection legislation in Congress that would keep federal agents from confiscating firearms during a state of emergency.
Well, Sen. David Vitter (R-LA) has offered his language as an amendment to the Homeland Security appropriations bill (HR 5441). His amendment will probably be voted on later today.
Yesterday, on the floor of the U.S. Senate, Vitter documented the gun confiscation that occurred in his state last September. "Certain law-enforcement authorities confiscated legally-held firearms by law-abiding citizens," Vitter said. "Not a few, not a dozen, not two dozen, but literally thousands were confiscated by law-enforcement officials."
Vitter noted how even after a district court ordered the guns to be returned, New Orleans police superintendent Warren Riley stated in a June 6 radio interview that his officers would "confiscate guns again" if another similar disaster should strike New Orleans.
Earlier this year, the state of Louisiana enacted legislation to stop this kind of abuse. Vitter acknowledged that. But legislation is still needed, he said, to prevent federal officials from engaging in the same activity. (Keep in mind that federal agents also participated in the gun thefts last September in New Orleans.)
Vitter's amendment would prohibit the executive department from temporarily or permanently seizing firearms during a disaster or emergency.
"When [law-enforcement] services, quite frankly, are unavailable in many, many cases to the populace as under normal times," Vitter said, "when all communication is shut down, officers should not be confiscating legal firearms from law-abiding citizens protected under the Second Amendment."
*ACTION*: Please call your two Senators and ask them to oppose gun confiscation by supporting the Vitter amendment to HR 5441 (the Homeland Security appropriations bill). You should CALL your Senators right away since the vote will probably be today. There's really no time for e-mails to be tabulated by Senate staffers.