Fairfax, VA—Law-abiding citizens of New Orleans who were forced to relinquish their legally owned firearms to the New Orleans Police Department (NOPD) will have to wait, indefinitely, to regain their property. The City of New Orleans revealed they have not returned any firearms, as Mayor Ray Nagin and the city have yet to set up a return process.
“Mayor Ray Nagin continues to deny freedom by denying lawful citizens their Second Amendment rights,” stated National Rifle Association (NRA) Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre. “First, he confiscates law-abiding citizens’ firearms and lies about it. Then, he fails to comply with court orders. Now he refuses to return the legally owned firearms to their rightful owners by dragging his feet. It’s a disgrace.”
After denying the illegal confiscation for months, on March 15, 2006, Mayor Nagin and the NOPD conceded in federal court that they do have seized guns stored in locked steel containers. The city then agreed in court to a process by which law-abiding citizens may file a claim to receive their confiscated firearms.
However, a New Orleans official handling the gun confiscations stated that no guns have been returned because the NOPD requires background checks, and the city has not set up a process. The official acknowledged, “We've been told it was going to happen weeks ago…and still hasn't been done.”
Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist, stated, “During a time of chaos and lawlessness, Ray Nagin took away the only means of protection law-abiding citizens had, and by delaying necessary and appropriate action to right this wrong, he blatantly continues to disrespect New Orleans citizens. The Mayor’s contempt of court, his contempt of the Second Amendment, and his disrespect of the law-abiding gun owners of New Orleans is shameful.”
Established in 1871, the National Rifle Association is America’s oldest civil rights and sportsmen's group. Four million members strong, NRA continues its mission to uphold Second Amendment rights and to advocate enforcement of existing laws against violent offenders to reduce crime. The Association remains the nation's leader in firearm education and training for law-abiding gun owners, law enforcement and the military.