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Compass Changes Direction

Friday, September 30, 2005

As you know, on September 22, NRA filed a motion in United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana to block authorities from confiscating law-abiding citizens' firearms in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.  On September 23, the Court sided with NRA and issued a restraining order to bar further gun confiscations from law-abiding victims of Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans.

The controversy over gun confiscations erupted when The New York Times reported that the New Orleans Superintendent of Police Eddie Compass directed that no civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to have guns and that "only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons." ABC News quoted New Orleans' Deputy Police Chief Warren Riley, saying, "No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons."

This week--fast on the heels of the restraining order--Compass abruptly resigned his post.  At the same time, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin's office was quick to distance itself from the statements made by Compass and Riley.

The one big question that remains to be answered is who actually issued the controversial confiscation order in the first place.

Under Nagin's leadership, the city's murder rate increased and there were frequent reports of corruption within the police department.  In addition, during the region's wide-spread, post-Katrina violence, looting, and civil unrest, roughly 250 police officers deserted their posts.  Amidst the anarchy, a television crew filmed police officers apparently participating in the looting of a store.

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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.