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After Years of Stonewalling, New Orleans Mayor Admits Illegal Gun Confiscation, Settles with NRA

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Fairfax, VA-After a three-year legal battle over the unconstitutional confiscation of lawfully owned firearms, the City of New Orleans has agreed to settle a law suit by the National Rifle Association (NRA). A permanent injunction has been issued against the city, Mayor Ray Nagin and current Police Chief Warren Riley. The Second Amendment Foundation assisted NRA in the legal battle against Mayor Ray Nagin and the City of New Orleans.

“Today’s outcome is an important victory for the citizens of New Orleans and the Second Amendment,” said Wayne LaPierre, NRA’s executive vice president. “We fought for three long years in a fundamental legal challenge to assert the inherent self-defense rights for law-abiding citizens, knowing the Constitution would prevail. Today it has prevailed and freedom has won.”

Judge Carl J. Barbier presided over the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. Judge Barbier signed the permanent injuncation against the City of New Orleans. The city admitted the firearm confiscations carried out by Nagin and Riley were unconstitutional and illegal.

Under the terms of the injunction, Mayor Ray Nagin, Police Chief Warren Riley and any agents or employees of the City of New Orleans shall:

· cease and desist confiscating lawfully-possessed firearms from all citizens;

· make an aggressive attempt to return any and all firearms which may have been confiscated during the period August 29 to December 31, 2005;

· within one month of the settlement, post on the City website the procedure for the return of confiscated firearms. This notice must include an interactive form for those claiming firearms to fill out, resulting in timely transmission of the information to the appropriate official. All other information on claiming a firearm will also be included on the site.

· within one month of the settlement, the City must mail notices to all individuals who are identified on the property tags of firearms in the City's possession which were confiscated during the aftermath of Katrina.

“On behalf of the lawful gun owners of New Orleans, NRA is pleased with this outcome,” said Chris W. Cox, NRA’s chief lobbyist. “We thank Judge Barbier for his leadership and constitutional scholarship in presiding over our lawsuit. NRA will continue to aid however we can in the full return of all the firearms confiscated by the City.”

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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.

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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.