NRA Chief Lobbyist, Chris Cox, asserted, “After Hurricane Katrina, the New Orleans Police Superintendent issued orders to confiscate firearms from all citizens, allegedly under a state emergency powers law. With that one order, he stripped the one means of self-protection innocent citizens had during a time of widespread civil disorder. This legislation guarantees that will never happen again."
Various reports indicate that military and law enforcement agencies from the federal government and several states confiscated guns from law-abiding New Orleans residents. The Vitter Amendment prohibits the use of federal funds to seize firearms or restrict firearms possession, except in the circumstances allowed by current federal or state law. Convicted felons and other “prohibited persons” are not protected under this legislation and it does not effect law enforcement operations outside of disaster relief situations.
“In passing this legislation, the United States Senate acted to protect the self-defense rights of citizens when those rights are most vital. There was no 9-1-1 or police to rely on while looters and rapists and thugs ran rampant and honest citizens were left to their own devices to protect themselves, their families and their neighbors. I want to thank Senator Vitter for introducing this amendment and all the Senators who supported it.”
Emergency powers legislation prohibiting government officials from restricting the rights of law-abiding gun owners during declared states of emergency has passed this year in Louisiana, Mississippi, Florida, South Carolina, Virginia, Alaska, Idaho, Kentucky, New Hampshire, and Oklahoma.
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 armed services.