A Nurse with a Gun

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Guns Found in Chef Menteur Pass

Chef Menteur Pass is a waterway connecting Lakes Pontchartrain and Lake Borgne near New Orleans. The New Orleans Police Department and St. Tammany Parish Sheriff's Office make no bones about having used the waterway to dispose of firearms in the past. Beginning in the early 1900s, St. Tammany deputies routinely got rid of confiscated guns by dumping them in Lake Pontchartrain, Sheriff Jack Strain says. The practice continued for decades. The possibility of people diving for and retrieving the firearms before the salt water could destroy them in the strong currents was remote.

After Jack Strain became sheriff of St. Tammany Parish, a new method of firearms destruction was employed. Confiscated firearms were melted down and the process was videotaped. The city of New Orleans did the same, turning them into manhole covers and sewer grates.

After hurricane Katrina, over a thousand firearms were confiscated from residents of the area. Many of these arms are still stored in barrels inside one of the New Orleans police department's trailers. Through a series of lawsuits brought forth by the NRA the ILA and the SAF, the rightful owners of these firearms have at least learned where they are being held. A few rusted and damaged guns have been returned after a NICS background check. The remaining owners have been told to go suck eggs as the New Orleans Police Department and the city of New Orleans began demanding proof of purchase from people who lost everything in the storm. Most of the guns continue to rust away unclaimed, as the owners realized the futility of trying to reclaim property that was wrongfully seized by a police department and city out of control, and especially one that is now faced with going to court over it's actions.

Then, as a construction crane was digging concrete and steel beams out of Chef Menteur Pass earlier this month, a handgun was discovered. At first, workers speculated that a criminal must have dumped it there. It was still in decent enough shape, although rusty. The gun was surrendered to New Orleans police and the work continued. Over the following week, eleven separate firearms were discovered. Next, a clump of rusted pistols and revolvers so covered with barnacles that they might be unrecognizable was brought to the surface.

Perhaps we will never know if any of these firearms dredged up from Chef Menteur Pass were guns confiscated after Katrina. With the long history of firearms destruction and the dumping of guns into the waters of Lake Pontchartrain by the area police departments, the truth will remain shrouded in the murky brine and time. What we do know, however, is that in New Orleans there is still a trailer with barrels of rusted guns waiting for justice to be served.

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Blogger Bruce said...

I'm sure I'm not alone when I say I cringe every time I see one of thsoe videos of "illegal" guns being melted down or diced up on a chop saw.

Assuming it makes sense for them to destroy those confiscated weapons (work with me here), could they at least separate the grips, stocks, sights, springs, etc. from the action and put them up on Gunbroker?

They could say the proceeds go to some BS "For the Children" organization if they wanted to.

6:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Interesting name. "Menteur" mean "liar" in French.

7:21 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Electrolytic de-rusting:

Weak solution of washing soda or sodium hydroxide ("caustic soda" / "lye").

Connect a piece of steel (a bit of wire or chain will do) to the red lead of a battery charger, connect the thing you want to de-rust to the black lead.

Submerge them in the soda solution and let them fizz away for a day or two.

the rust (and any bluing) turns to soft black powder that easily scrubs off with wire wool.

you're best doing it in a shed or well away from living areas as the gas is hydrogen, and there is a nasty mist of soda that'll burn eyes, nose etc, and the soda will eat aluminium, galvanizing / zinc, tin and copper.

If you do it on a gun, give it a good bake at 200F plus overnight to expel any hydrogen from the metal.


4:23 AM  

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