Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

Shocking News as Governor of Virgin Islands Orders National Guard to Seize Americans’ Firearms

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Shocking News as Governor of Virgin Islands Orders National Guard to Seize Americans’ Firearms

With hurricane season now upon us, U.S. states and territories are preparing for a barrage of potentially damaging weather. In the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), however, those preparations include an order by Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp for the National Guard to seize residents’ lawfully-owned firearms and ammunition, ostensibly as a means of promoting public order and protecting life and property during Hurricane Irma.

The order states in no uncertain terms that the Adjutant General of the U.S. Virgin Islands National Guard is “authorized and directed to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material and any other property” deemed necessary to the mission of maintaining or restoring order during the storm.

Certainly, the rest of America’s thoughts and prayers are with the USVI as they recover from the damage Irma caused. Nevertheless, Gov. Mapp’s Sept. 4 order was an inexcusable incursion on the right of the U.S. citizens who reside on the USVI to protect themselves from the all-too-predictable outbreaks of looting and crime that can occur when normal emergency services are over-taxed by an extraordinary event. Simply put, it violated the U.S. Constitution and threatened to put innocent people at further risk.

America has seen similar overreaches in the past, most notoriously during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when local officials ordered the confiscation of lawfully-owned firearms from New Orleans residents. First responders had been overwhelmed by the demands of the storm, and those who had not managed to evacuate were dealing with virtual anarchy.  For many gun owners, the shocking site of a frail woman being slammed to the ground in her own home by police enforcing the post-Katrina order remains an indelible image of the very sort of violent firearm seizures that some claim could never happen in the U.S.

The NRA intervened in federal court and was able to halt the New Orleans confiscations and obtain an order requiring the return of the seized firearms. Nevertheless, the city delayed compliance with the order for as long as it could, including requiring unrealistic documentation from gun owners whose lives had been turned upside by the storm. Only in 2008 did the NRA and the city agree on mutually acceptable terms for the return of the unlawfully confiscated property.

The NRA also promoted legislation to prevent government officials from using their emergency powers as a pretext for disarming the citizenry. In 2006, Congressman Bobby Jindal (LA) led the fight to protect America’s gun owners against these abuses by introducing H.R. 5013 in the House, a final version of which was signed by President George W. Bush in October of that year.  Now codified at 42 U.S.C. § 5207, the law prohibits persons acting under color of federal law, receiving federal funds, or acting at the direction of a federal employee from seizing or authorizing the seizure of lawfully-possessed firearms during a state of emergency. The majority of U.S. states now have similar laws.

The NRA quickly condemned Gov. Mapp’s order and pledged to take any necessary legal action to ensure that the people of the USVI were not deprived of their constitutionally protected arms when they might need them the most.

Barely 24 hours later, Gov. Mapp appeared before a national audience on the Tucker Carlson Show and furiously backpedaled, bizarrely claiming that the order simply meant that Guard units could purchase necessary emergency supplies at retail without the formalities of normal procurement procedures. “This is not about seizing anybody’s personal property,” he insisted.

That on-the-fly revision was too much even for the “fact-checking” (and typically antigun) website Snopes, which acknowledged there was no support for this interpretation in the actual words of the order itself.

Just what Gov. Mapp meant to do or thought he was doing with his “seizure” order remains unclear. To date, the NRA has received no information that any actual seizures have occurred.

Nevertheless, the incident should serve as a wake-up call for those who insist that the threat of civilian firearm confiscation is a scare tactic invented by the NRA. Americans saw it themselves this week, stamped with the gold seal of officialdom.

As ever, your NRA will remain vigilant and prepared to act so that no law-abiding American is forced to face danger without the protection guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

TRENDING NOW
H.R. 127 – A Bill Designed to Express Hostility Toward Law-Abiding Gun Owners

News  

Thursday, February 11, 2021

H.R. 127 – A Bill Designed to Express Hostility Toward Law-Abiding Gun Owners

All gun control bills share the same basic goal: a world in which fewer people own firearms. Some bills simply ban certain types of firearms or ammunition outright. Others place obstacles in the path of ...

Report: House of Representatives to Vote on Two Gun Control Bills!

News  

Tuesday, March 2, 2021

Report: House of Representatives to Vote on Two Gun Control Bills!

According to reports from Capitol Hill, the Democrat-controlled U.S. House of Representatives plans to vote on two gun control bills as early as next week. The first bill, so-called “universal” background check legislation, would criminalize ...

March for Our Lives Issues Biden His Marching Orders

News  

Monday, March 1, 2021

March for Our Lives Issues Biden His Marching Orders

It’s widely understood that the current occupants of the White House, the Biden-Harris Administration, have positioned themselves as the most anti-gun team this country has ever seen on Pennsylvania Avenue. Leading up to the 2020 ...

Second Amendment Skeptic Merrick Garland Moves Closer to Confirmation as U.S. Attorney General

News  

Monday, March 1, 2021

Second Amendment Skeptic Merrick Garland Moves Closer to Confirmation as U.S. Attorney General

This week, hearings were held on the nomination of Merrick Garland for U.S. attorney general, with a final vote on confirmation expected to come next week. The prospect for gun owners is that the nation’s ...

Friday, February 5, 2021

Florida Alert! H.R. 127 - Federal Gun Control Proposal

Much is being said about H.R. 127 By Shelia Jackson Lee (D-TX) 117th Congress and we have had many folks contacting us seeking information. 

The California Model: Soft on Violent Firearm Crimes, Hard on Law-Abiding Gun Owners

News  

Monday, March 1, 2021

The California Model: Soft on Violent Firearm Crimes, Hard on Law-Abiding Gun Owners

A frustrating aspect of the modern gun control movement is its seeming abandonment of reason. The same anti-gun politicians that attack the rights of law-abiding gun owners will advocate for more lenient treatment of those ...

Ninth Circuit to Hear Case Challenging California’s Magazine Ban En Banc

News  

Friday, February 26, 2021

Ninth Circuit to Hear Case Challenging California’s Magazine Ban En Banc

Yesterday, the Ninth Circuit granted en banc review of an NRA-ILA backed lawsuit challenging California’s ban on magazines containing more than ten rounds.

NRA Victory in Washington Court of Appeals

News  

Monday, February 22, 2021

NRA Victory in Washington Court of Appeals

The National Rifle Association's Institute for Legislative Action applauds a decision by the Washington Court of Appeals today that upheld the state's preemption law and struck down a pair of local ordinances that restricted the ...

Biden Begins Gun Control Push

News  

Tuesday, February 16, 2021

Biden Begins Gun Control Push

On Sunday, President Biden used the three-year anniversary of the criminal attack in Parkland, Florida to call “on Congress to enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

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.