Thank you for your e-mail. Numerous media sources are reporting on an apparent campaign by New Orleans city authorities to confiscate lawfully-owned firearms from people in the city. Louisiana statute does grant the government, during a state of emergency, broad powers in regulating and controlling firearms.I'm sorry, Erik, but it sounds like double-talk to me. Since when do Louisiana statutes that "grant the government, during a state of emergency, broad powers in regulating and controlling firearms" supercede the US Constitution? All the more reason we need a Supreme Court that knows how to read the plain language of our Constitution.
However, we have seen not just with Hurricane Katrina, but other similar situations, that when police are unable to control the criminal element, people turn to the one freedom that protects all others-the Second Amendment.
While one can certainly understand the dire predicaments of all those affected by Hurricane Katrina, as we have learned throughout history, campaigns to disarm the lawful do nothing to disarm the criminal. And in truth, these restrictions make citizens less safe. Despite the valiant efforts of many law enforcement officers and rescue workers, too many of those left in the wake of Katrina are ultimately responsible for their own security and safety and that of their families and loved ones; especially when communication is virtually non-existent and police can't be quickly summoned to respond to calls for help. At these times, lawful gun ownership is paramount to personal safety.
Of course, the entire situation in New Orleans is constantly in flux. But rest assured NRA is monitoring this situation very closely and will address any activity by the government that unduly infringes upon the rights of lawful gun owners at the appropriate time. As we learn more, we will report to our members accordingly. In the interim, however, we join with all Americans in offering our thoughts, prayers, and assistance to the victims and survivors of this terrible natural disaster.
Update: Ten Ring has more on the story and links to other responses from the NRA and the GOA (Gun Owners of America, for you squares), Plus Which you get the Packing.org crowd's in-your-face reaction and Cam Edwards, who isn't afraid to call a grab a grab.
Update: The heavyweights blog the gun grab - Instapundit's Glenn Reynolds hopes that, "that some civil rights organization -- the NRA, say -- will help the injured parties bring suit." Plus Which Dave Kopel at The Volokh Conspiracy shows the research and promises an article for Reason.com on the matter.
Update: Want a little Ugly Truth?