Senate Votes to Protect Second Amendment Rights During Emergencies
Just got this article in from NRA.
Fairfax, VA - On July 13, the United States Senate overwhelmingly passed (84-16) an amendment (#4615) to the Homeland Security appropriations bill (H.R. 5441). This amendment -- sponsored by Senator David Vitter (R-LA) -- prohibits the use of funds appropriated under HR 5441 for the confiscation of lawfully possessed firearms during an emergency or major disaster.
Commenting on the passage of the amendment, NRA-ILA Executive Director and chief lobbyist Chris W. Cox said, "After Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Police Superintendent issued orders to confiscate firearms from all citizens, allegedly under a state emergency powers law. With that one order, he stripped the one means of self-protection innocent citizens had during a time of widespread civil disorder. This legislation guarantees that will never happen again."
Various reports indicate that military and law enforcement agencies from the federal government and several states confiscated guns from law-abiding New Orleans residents. The Vitter Amendment prohibits the use of federal funds to seize firearms or restrict firearms possession, except in the circumstances allowed by current federal or state law. Convicted felons and other "prohibited persons" are not protected under this legislation and it does not effect law enforcement operations outside of disaster relief situations.
"In passing this legislation, the United States Senate acted to protect the self-defense rights of citizens when those rights are most vital. There was no 9-1-1 or police to rely on while looters and rapists and thugs ran rampant and honest citizens were left to their own devices to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors. I want to thank Senator Vitter for introducing this amendment and all the Senators who supported it."
In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and the resulting gun confiscations, NRA filed suit in federal court and won a temporary restraining order ending all the illegal gun confiscations. After the City of New Orleans failed to comply with the court’s ruling, NRA filed a motion of contempt that included an order that all seized firearms be returned to their rightful owners.
Due to NRA’s leadership, emergency powers legislation prohibiting government officials from restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners during declared states of emergency passed in 10 states during the 2006 legislative session, including Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, Alaska, Idaho, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma.
While the passage of the Vitter Amendment in the U.S. Senate represents an important victory for America’s law-abiding gun owners, the job is not yet finished. It is vital that this provision be included in the final version of the bill that emerges from the House and Senate conference committee later this year.
Another Victory (almost) for the 2nd Amendment
US Senate votes to bar emergency gun confiscation
al Reuters ^ | 7/13/06 | staff
WASHINGTON, July 13 (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Thursday voted to prohibit the confiscation of legally owned guns during an emergency like last year's Hurricane Katrina, marking another victory for the gun lobby.
By a vote of 84-16, the Senate embraced an amendment by Sen. David Vitter, a Louisiana Republican. He attached his measure to a domestic security spending bill for the fiscal year starting Oct. 1 that the Senate is expected to pass soon.
The U.S. House of Representatives has passed its version of the spending bill and negotiators will have to decide whether to keep the gun provision. The House is usually sympathetic to gun owners.
Citing the constitutional right to bear arms, Vitter said that during an emergency people should be allowed to hold onto "legally possessed firearms to defend your life, your property" at a time when telephone lines and cell phones probably are not operating and victims "can't reach out to law enforcement authorities."
ExSoldier's NOTE: I was more worried about passage in the Senate than in the House. But look at the figures: 84 votes in favor of passage WITH the pro-gun amendment. Have the Dems finally figured out that gun control is a loser for them? OR are they merely biding their time, not wanting to draw any public attention to their antigun agenda so close to primaries and the off season election in Nov? Just remember: The party in CONTROL also controls the bills that get sent to the floor for votes. They control the Amendment process. Do you think this bill would have gotten to the floor with the progun amendment if the OTHER guys were in charge?:rolleyes: