1. The Topic of the Month for October is "Make this the Perfect Bugout Location". Please join the discussion in the TOTM forum.

State "Emergency Powers" vs. The Right to Arms

Discussion in 'Freedom and Liberty' started by E.L., Feb 25, 2006.

  1. E.L.

    E.L. Moderator of Lead Moderator Emeritus Founding Member


    State "Emergency Powers" vs. The Right to Arms

    After Hurricane Katrina, many New Orleans residents legally armed themselves to protect their lives and property from civil disorder. With no way to call for help, and police unable to respond, honest citizens were able to defend themselves and their neighbors against looters, arsonists and other criminals.1

    However, just when these people needed guns the most, New Orleans's Police Superintendent ordered the confiscation of firearms, allegedly under a state emergency powers law. "No one will be able to be armed," he said. "Guns will be taken. Only law enforcement will be allowed to have guns."2 (Fortunately, an NRA lawsuit brought an end to the seizures--along with a far-fetched denial that confiscation had ever been ordered.)

    Of course, no one condones the mindless violence of those who would loot a helpless city, or shoot at rescue workers. But one reason for the citizens to retain a legal right to arms, is precisely because the government has no legal duty to protect them.3 Legislative bodies can, and should, act to protect the self-defense rights of citizens at the times when those rights are most important.

    Unfortunately, 33 states have "emergency powers" laws that give the government permission to suspend or limit gun sales, and to prohibit or restrict citizens from transporting or carrying firearms. In some states, authorities are authorized to seize guns outright from citizens who've committed no crime--and who would then be defenseless against disorder.

    The movement to change these laws is gaining speed. Just two months after Hurricane Katrina, the Louisiana legislature--with only one dissenting vote--adopted a resolution declaring "the policy of the state of Louisiana to protect and uphold the citizens' right to keep and bear arms in their residences, businesses, and means of transport, and on their persons," condemning the seizure of firearms from New Orleans citizens, and announcing it planned to amend Louisiana's emergency powers law "to rectify the denial of these rights."4

    In the past, America has balanced emergency needs with respect for constitutional rights. Months before Pearl Harbor, the U.S. Congress passed the Property Requisition Act of 1941, which allowed the President, as a last resort, to seize needed war materials "upon the payment of fair and just compensation."5 The Congress, concerned about the prospect of gun confiscation, included language to prohibit registration or seizure of privately owned firearms. America and its allies went on to win the greatest armed conflict in history. Today, Congress and the state legislatures should follow that lead
  2. melbo

    melbo Hunter Gatherer Administrator Founding Member

    Seems that They don't really care about whats illegal or unconstitutional anymore
  3. ghrit

    ghrit Ambulatory anachronism Administrator Founding Member

    Nor fair and just. Sickening. :evil:
  4. ghostrider

    ghostrider Resident Poltergeist Founding Member

    That's why you have to have something before an emergency, and why you may have to have more than one, so you can bury one. Did they say which states have the laws on the books.
survivalmonkey SSL seal        survivalmonkey.com warrant canary