Second Amendment Groups Move to Stop Gun Seizures

By Susan Jones | July 7, 2008 | 8:05 PM EDT

( - The Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association are seeking a temporary restraining order to stop authorities in and around New Orleans from seizing firearms from private citizens in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.

The motion was filed Thursday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.

The Second Amendment Foundation said arbitrary gun seizures, without warrants or probable cause, have been reported over the past three weeks, including some cases where police refused to give citizens receipts for their seized firearms.

SAF said it has received no response to its inquiries about how or if the guns will be returned to their rightful owners.

"We are delighted to work jointly with the NRA in an effort to bring these outrageous gun seizures to a halt," said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb in a press release.

"Our inquiries about these confiscations were cavalierly ignored, as were our demands for a public explanation from the police and city officials about why citizens were being unlawfully disarmed, leaving them defenseless against lingering bands of looters and thugs.

SAF points to a recent New York Times report in which New Orleans Police Superintendent P. Edwin Compass III was quoted as saying, "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons." And ABC News quoted Deputy New Orleans Police Chief Warren Riley as saying, "No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons."

Indeed, said SAF, various TV reports showed police taking guns from citizens in the aftermath of Katrina.

"New Orleans officials left us with no recourse," Gottlieb said. "It was bad enough that Big Easy residents were victims of the worst natural disaster in the nation's history. That they would be subsequently victimized by their own local government, taking their personal property without warrant, is unconscionable.

"These illegal gun seizures must be stopped, now," he said.

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