The Great New Orleans Gun Grab
When the policy was implemented, it set off a hot controversy. Gun owners said the police were violating the Constitution’s second amendment guarantee of the right to bear arms. Some of the gun owners were members of the National Rifle Association and complained to the organization.
The NRA sued, Baton Rouge attorney Dan Holliday representing the organization in the action in U.S. District Court. Federal Judge Jay Zainey agreed with the NRA and ordered the city to stop seizing guns and to start giving the guns they had already taken back to the rightful owners. The city ignored his order.
The city kept taking guns, even though officials denied it. The NRA wasn’t going to let go of the issue. It wasn’t just that it was guns. This was also a property rights issue. Many of the guns were cheap guns, but even those were worth hundreds of dollars each. Other, more expensive guns were also taken. The NRA dogged New Orleans on the issue, filing a contempt of court suit in February 2006 and eventually forced the city to allow them to examine the cache of confiscated weapons. That happened in April 2007.
In the upcoming August cover story for the NRA’s million-circulation magazine, America’s First Freedom, local author and NRA member Gordon Hutchinson and co-author Barb Baird reveal what the NRA observers found: barrels of illegally seized guns, mostly handguns, many damaged or rusted to uselessness.
Whether or not you are comfortable with gun ownership, you have to be appalled at what happened in New Orleans. No governmental entity ought to be able to confiscate citizens’ private property with no compensation and no promise of return. The issue so concerned Hutchinson that he and fellow Louisianan Todd Masson have written a book that details the whole story. The Great New Orleans Gun Grab will be in local bookstores in a few weeks.