BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today won a key battle in an on-going lawsuit against the City of New Orleans, when a federal judge rejected the city’s motion to dismiss the case.
SAF took New Orleans to court last year to stop illegal confiscation of firearms from private citizens in the wake of Hurricane Katrina. Defendants in the case are the city, Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Superintendent Warren Riley. SAF was joined in the historic lawsuit by the National Rifle Association. Both organizations have members living in New Orleans.
The ruling was issued by Judge Carl Barbier of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. He ordered the city to submit a response to the original lawsuit.
“We’re encouraged by this latest ruling,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “For almost a year, we’ve been fighting the city’s delay tactics, which included outright lying by city officials that any firearms had been seized. Only when we threatened Mayor Nagin and Superintendent Riley with a motion for contempt did the city miraculously discover that they actually did have more than 1,000 firearms that had been taken from their owners.
“We’re moving ahead with this lawsuit not only to protect the rights of gun owners in New Orleans,” Gottlieb continued, “but to also make sure that this serves as a warning to public officials across the country to forget about seizing firearms from their law-abiding owners in the event of a natural or man-made disaster.
“The next step will include getting an accurate inventory of all confiscated firearms still in the city’s possession,” Gottlieb stated. “We’re not going to rest until every one of those guns is back in the hands of its rightful owner, and the city understands that it cannot defy a federal court order, state law or the Louisiana and federal constitutional provisions that guarantee the individual right to keep and bear arms.
“We’re fighting to make sure this kind of outrage will never again happen on American soil,” he concluded.