Fairfax, VA - Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco has signed into law the National Rifle Association (NRA)-backed "Emergency Powers Protection Act" (HB 760). The new law prevents local governments from confiscating firearms during a state of emergency, as it happened in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina.
"The aftermath of Hurricane Katrina became the proving ground for what American gun owners have always feared: the day that government bureaucrats throw the Bill of Rights in the trash and declare freedom to be whatever they say it is," said Wayne LaPierre, NRA Executive Vice President. "We promised to take measures to ensure that the Second Amendment is not another casualty during a declared emergency and today we are proud to deliver on that promise."
Days after Hurricane Katrina hit, then New Orleans Police Chief Eddie Compass issued an order to confiscate all firearms – including those from law-abiding residents. At a time when 9-1-1 was non-existent and law enforcement was stressed with search and rescue missions, the law-abiding citizens of New Orleans were left at the mercy of roving looters, robbers and thugs. This breakdown of civil order demonstrates that Americans’ rights to keep and bear arms are especially important during a state of emergency. This new law states that local governments will not be able to restrict law-abiding citizens’ use and transportation of firearms during declared emergencies.
"No matter what the circumstances, lawful gun owners have the right to possess their firearms in their homes. And if forced to evacuate, they have the right to transport their firearms to a safe place. Nobody has the right to disarm them. That’s what this legislation ensures."
"I want to thank the Governor for signing this vital bill into law. Rep. Steve Scalise and Sen. Joe McPherson – the main sponsors of HB 760 – were central in the passage of this measure. I would also like to recognize the efforts of Rep. Pete Schneider, Rep. Troy Hebert and Rep. Danny Martiny," concluded Cox.
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.