Gun rights activists were up in arms Friday after New Orleans Police Chief Warren Riley said he would confiscate weapons should disaster strike.
(AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
Frederick Thomas, from New Orleans, leaves New Orleans Police with his semi-automatic pistol that was confiscated in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans on Monday April 17, 2006.
The chief’s comments came after a federal lawsuit forced the city to return hundreds of firearms that were seized in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
In an interview with WWL Radio, Riley said his officers would seize guns from people on the streets if another storm was to hit New Orleans.
“During a circumstance like that, we cannot allow people to walk the street carrying guns…as law enforcement officers we will confiscate the weapon if a person is walking down the street and they may be arrested,” Riley said.
The National Rifle Association sued the city and forced it to return hundreds of guns, after officers seized them during Katrina. Gun rights activists were once again outraged by Riley's comments.
”It’s shocking, there's nothing about a police chief's opinion that gives them a super sized authority to throw the constitution out the window,” said NRA Executive Vice-President Wayne Lapierre.
“God spared a lot of people in this storm, he also spared a lot of violent people who were committing violent crimes with firearms,” one ATF agent said regarding the confiscation of weapons during Katrina.
But gun activists said the move robbed people of their right to protect themselves when chaos ruled the city.
“Your firearm in your home, was the only protection from the criminal element,” said State Representative Steve Scalise.
Chief Riley said Friday that officers would not again enter people’s homes to seize weapons.
During Katrina, state law gave the chief the authority to take guns during an emergency. Since then lawmakers have re-written the law, making it a crime, one they said the chief was threatening to commit.
“He does not have the right to confiscate their firearms, nobody in this country does, that's why we have a 2nd amendment to our constitution,” said Scalise.
edited to add i clicked the wrong section from new posts lol please move to 2nd discussion