Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Bill O’Reilly On Citizens Maintaining Second Amendment Rights During States Of Emergency: “That’s a pretty extreme position.”

Friday, February 19, 2010

As we have often reported, in the wake of the illegal gun confiscations in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, NRA focused its attention on legislation to amend existing emergency-powers statutes to guarantee that local authorities never again attempt the confiscation of lawfully owned firearms during states of emergency.

As you know, following Hurricane Katrina, many New Orleans residents legally armed themselves to protect their lives and property from civil disorder. With no way to call for help, and police unable to respond, lawful citizens were able to defend themselves and their neighbors against looters, arsonists and other criminals.

However, just when these people needed their guns for self-protection the most, New Orleans’s Police Superintendent ordered the confiscation of firearms, allegedly under a state emergency-powers law.  Fortunately, an NRA lawsuit brought an end to the seizures, and subsequent NRA-backed legislation ensured the gun confiscation travesty would not repeat itself. 

Unfortunately, many states have “emergency powers” laws that give the government permission to suspend or limit gun sales, and to prohibit or restrict citizens from transporting or carrying firearms. In some states, authorities are authorized to seize guns outright from citizens who’ve committed no crime, and who would then be defenseless against disorder. 

Within the past few weeks, a state of emergency was declared in King, North Carolina following a relatively heavy snowstorm.  As a result of the emergency declaration, local residents were banned from carrying firearms in their vehicles.

Entering into the fray this week was Bill O’Reilly, host of The O’Reilly Factor, on Fox News. 

In a February 18, interview that discussed, in part, the confiscation of legally-owned guns during a declared state of emergency (as was the case in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina), O’Reilly affirmed his support of such confiscations.

When it was explained to O’Reilly that whether or not there’s a state of emergency, it’s still unconstitutional to confiscate lawfully-owned guns from honest citizens wanting to defend themselves, the Fox talking head retorts, “That’s a pretty extreme position.”

Perhaps in your opinion, Bill.  But for most law-abiding Americans, the notion that the government can suspend the Constitution and leave citizens without the most effective means of self-defense just because of a snowstorm or hurricane -- well, that would qualify as an extreme position.

Of course, no one condones the mindless violence of those who would loot a helpless city, or shoot at rescue workers.  But one reason for the citizens to retain a legal right to arms, is precisely because the government has no legal duty to protect them.  Legislative bodies can, and should, act to protect the self-defense rights of citizens at the times when those rights are most important.

NRA-ILA was instrumental in passing H.R. 5013--the “Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act,”--federal legislation to protect gun owners’ rights during emergencies.  And we continue to fight for state legislation to do the same.  NRA-ILA has successfully passed Emergency Powers legislation in 28 states since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, and we will not rest until we reform all emergency powers laws to prohibit these types of arbitrary attacks on Second Amendment rights.
TRENDING NOW

News  

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Federal Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Ban

A three-judge panel of the 9th Circuit issued a ruling in the case of Duncan v. Becerra on Tuesday upholding a lower court’s decision to suspend enforcement of California’s restriction on the possession of magazines ...

Federal Appellate Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Surrender Requirement

News  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Federal Appellate Court Upholds Decision to Block California’s Magazine Surrender Requirement

Last summer, we reported on the welcome news that a federal court had blocked California’s plan to require owners of “large capacity” magazines to surrender or otherwise rid themselves of their formerly-lawful property. As the judge in ...

Anti-gun Propaganda Infiltrates History Channel’s Navy SEAL Drama “Six”

News  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Anti-gun Propaganda Infiltrates History Channel’s Navy SEAL Drama “Six”

With shows like “Tales of the Gun” and “Mail Call” with R. Lee Ermey, the History Channel has often served as a place where gun owners can enjoy entertainment free from the anti-gun political messaging ...

Moms Demand Action Reportedly Told Candidate Not to Talk about Support for Gun Ban

News  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Moms Demand Action Reportedly Told Candidate Not to Talk about Support for Gun Ban

Another chapter in the lengthy tale of gun control duplicity was written last week. On July 10, The Washington Free Beacon published a report of a video of Democratic nominee for New York’s rural upstate 21st congressional district Tedra ...

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

Monday, July 16, 2018

Washington: Seattle City Council Passes Ordinance Making Firearms Unavailable for Self-Defense

On July 9th, the Seattle City Council passed a mandatory firearm storage ordinance to restrict the self-defense rights of Seattle residents.  The ordinance, if signed by Mayor Jenny Durkan, will impose a one-size-fits-all method of storing firearms as ...

Israel Set to Further Embrace Armed Citizenry to Promote Public Safety

News  

Gun Laws  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Israel Set to Further Embrace Armed Citizenry to Promote Public Safety

After a spate of terror attacks in 2015, Israel opted to loosen its firearms restrictions so that more citizens could help to defend themselves and their communities. According to a recent report from Israeli newspaper Haaretz, the Ministry ...

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

News  

Friday, July 6, 2018

Anti-gun Efforts to Expand U.N. Regulations to Ammunition Continue

Shortly before 4:00am last Saturday morning, the two week long Third Review Conference (RevCon3) on the Programme of Action to Prevent, Combat, and Eradicate the Illicit Trade in Small Arms and Light Weapons in All ...

Washington: NRA and SAF File Lawsuit Against City of Seattle

Friday, July 20, 2018

Washington: NRA and SAF File Lawsuit Against City of Seattle

On Friday, July 20th, the NRA and the Second Amendment Foundation filed a lawsuit against the City of Seattle, Mayor Jenny Durkan, and others, to invalidate the mandatory firearm storage ordinance that was recently passed by ...

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Illinois: Governor Signs Two Gun Control Bills

On July 17th, Governor Bruce Rauner signed House Bill 2354 and Senate Bill 3256 into law.

Gallup: Gun Control Not High on List of Problems

News  

Gun Laws  

Friday, July 20, 2018

Gallup: Gun Control Not High on List of Problems

Gallup’s July survey found that the number of Americans who cited guns or gun control as the most important problem facing America had returned to levels similar to before the shooting in Parkland, Fla. This month, ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

NRA ILA

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.