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Congressional Statements Regarding The Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act Of 2006 - H.R. 5013

Thursday, July 27, 2006

Congresswoman Thelma Drake (VA-02)
Remarks on H.R. 5013 (Submitted for the Record)
July 25, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I am proud to come to the floor today to voice my support for H.R. 5013, the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act.

In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, we heard reports regarding the seizure of firearms from law-abiding citizens by representatives of the federal government. I was disheartened by these reports.

As we know, the Second Amendment to the Constitution firmly establishes our right to keep and bear arms. This fundamental right is all the more necessary in the aftermath of a major disaster when government is unable to provide reliable protection from crime. The denial of this right by federal officials in the aftermath of Katrina was deplorable.

The Second Congressional District of Virginia, which I represent, encompasses the entire Atlantic coastline of the Commonwealth. While we have not experienced a natural disaster on the scale of Hurricane Katrina, the Second District is itself very susceptible to the threat of Hurricanes and other natural disasters.

With enactment of this legislation, we will codify the right of law-abiding citizens in areas affected by disasters to be able to protect themselves, their families, and their property.

I am a cosponsor of the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act because I believe this Congress should be committed to protecting our Constitutional right to keep and bear arms. I am proud to support this legislation and I urge my colleagues to do the same.

Thelma Drake
Member of Congress


Press Release From Congressman Bob Ney (OH-18)

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
July 25, 2006
CONTACT: Katie Harbath
202-225-6265

Ney Votes To Protect Gun Owners' Rights In Times Of Disaster
Legislation Prohibits The Confiscation Of Legally Owned Firearms During National Emergencies

WASHINGTON, DC - Congressman Bob Ney (OH-18) continued his support of every American's Second Amendment rights today by voting with his colleagues in the U.S. House to pass H.R. 5013, the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act.

This bill, which Congressman Ney was a co-sponsor of, prohibits the confiscation of legally owned weapons during national emergencies or presidential declared disasters, unless the confiscation is permitted by other federal or state law. This applies to federal officers and employees, including uniformed services, who receive federal funds, are under the control of federal government, or provide services to such personnel in support of relief efforts.

"It is every American's Second Amendment right to have a legally-owned weapon to protect them and their family," Congressman Ney said today. "This is especially true during a national emergency when many law enforcement officials are focused on relief efforts and cannot get to those who need protection. To confiscate weapons during a time of disaster is a violation of an American's constitutional rights and I'm proud of my vote today for H.R. 5013, which will stop the taking away of legally-owned weapons during emergencies."

In addition, this bill prevents the following:

  • Temporary or permanent seizures of firearms, or the authorization of such seizures; 
  • Requiring the registration of firearms, if registration is not required by federal or state law; 
  • Prohibiting the possession of a firearm, or issuing regulations or orders prohibiting the possession of a firearm if the possession is permitted under law;
  • Prohibiting the carrying of firearms by a person who is otherwise authorized to do so under state or federal laws solely because that person is operating under the direction, control, or supervision of a federal agency.


Statement From Congressman Steve Chabot (OH-01)
July 25, 2006

"Our Second Amendment rights should not be taken away because there is a natural disaster," said Congressman Steve Chabot, Chairman of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on the Constitution. "I'm proud to be a co-sponsor of this legislation to prevent the erosion of one of our most fundamental constitutional rights. Law abiding citizens should not be disarmed by law enforcement, federal officials or anyone else without due process."


Statement From Congressman Ted Strickland (OH-06)
July 25, 2006

I rise in strong support of H.R. 5013, the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act of 2006. This good, bipartisan effort will protect individuals’ rights to maintain their personal firearms during an emergency situation. Unfortunately, during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, many in the Gulf Coast region had their personal firearms confiscated by authorities. Many families lost valuable heirlooms this way. H.R. 5013 would allow individuals in future disasters to maintain possession of their personal property. I urge all of my colleagues to support this bill.


Hon. Joe Schwarz, M.D. (MI-07)
Statement Regarding The Disaster Recovery
Personal Protection Act Of 2006 - H.R. 5013
July 25, 2006

Mr. Speaker, I rise today to join my colleagues in support of the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act - H.R. 5013 of which I am a Co-Sponsor.

- While looting and other criminal activity were taking place in New Orleans - many civilians chose to protect themselves and their property.

- Many of these citizens kept firearms for the safety of themselves, their businesses, and their property, and used their firearms, individually or in concert with their neighbors, for protection against crime.

- Certain agencies announced that no firearms would be allowed in the New Orleans and the Hurricane area and confiscated, in contravention of the Second Amendment.

- The confiscations were carried out at gunpoint, by nonconsensual entries into private homes, traffic checkpoints, by stopping of boats, and otherwise by force.

 - The citizens from whom firearms were confiscated were either in their own homes, or attempting to flee the flooding and devastation by means of motor vehicle or boat, and were accosted, stopped, and arbitrarily deprived of their private property

- The means by which the confiscations were carried out, which included intrusion into the home, temporary detention of persons, and seizures of property, constituted unreasonable searches and seizures and deprived these citizens of liberty and property without due process of law in violation of fundamental rights under the Constitution.

- At least one highly-qualified search and rescue team was prevented from joining in relief efforts because the team included individuals with firearms, although these individuals had been deputized as Federal law enforcement officers.

- Many of the confiscated firearms were family heirlooms, gifts given as a child or were collector’s items.

- All firearms were taken with a hand written receipt on a stray piece of paper or no receipt was left at all.

- Individuals with proof of purchase and serial number are still not able to get their firearms back.

- Of the few firearms that have been returned - some are ruined beyond repair due to water damage from being stored in a large container that was not waterproof.

- Many of the firearms were lost or stolen and will never be returned.

- HR 5013 - clearly states the rights of people who own firearms during a major disaster or emergency.

- HR 5013 - protects civilian’s rights to bear arms.

- HR 5013 - allows people the right to protect themselves and their property as our forefathers intended.

The bill language:

  1. Prohibition on Confiscation of Firearms- No officer or employee of the United States (including any member of the uniformed services), or person operating pursuant to or under color of Federal law, or receiving Federal funds, or under control of any Federal official, or providing services to such an officer, employee, or other person, while acting in support of relief from a major disaster or emergency, may-

    1. Temporarily or permanently seize, or authorize seizure of, any firearm the possession of which is not prohibited under Federal or State law, other than for forfeiture in compliance with Federal law or as evidence in a criminal investigation;

    2. Require registration of any firearm for which registration is not required by Federal or State law;

    3. Prohibit possession of any firearm, or promulgate any rule, regulation, or order prohibiting possession of any firearm, in any place or by any person where such possession is not otherwise prohibited by Federal or State law; or

    4. Prohibit the carrying of firearms by any person otherwise authorized to carry firearms under Federal or State law, solely because such person is operating under the direction, control, or supervision of a Federal agency in support of relief from a major disaster or emergency

 

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