August 16, 2006

CIVIL RIGHTS UPDATE: The New Orleans gun confiscation was halted by a federal court, but victims are still suing the city:

U.S. District Judge Carl Barbier denied a motion by the city of New Orleans to dismiss a suit by the National Rifle Association and the Second Amendment Foundation. The gun-rights groups sued Mayor Ray Nagin and New Orleans Police Chief Warren Riley over the confiscation of guns following Hurricane Katrina.

The city asked the judge to dismiss the suit for lack of jurisdiction, saying “the states, and by extension their political subdivisions, are free to proscribe the possession of firearms.”

The court rejected the motion, ruling the city did nothing to back up “the brazen assertion” that the second amendment did not apply.

“I’m delighted to see that the second amendment still applies in Louisiana,” said Wayne LaPierre, executive vice president of the NRA.

The suit says that during and after the Aug. 29 storm, “Mayor Nagin ordered the New Orleans police and other law enforcement entities under his authority to evict persons from their homes and to confiscate the lawfully possessed firearms.”

By pursuing it, the NRA hopes to prevent any such action in the future, LaPierre said. The organization also hopes the court will order police to return guns in their possession to the rightful owners, he said.

Seems only fair. (Via Cam Edwards, who reports: “By the way, attorney Steven Halbrook, who’s representing the gun owners, will be on at 9 p.m. Eastern tonight.”)

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