BELLEVUE, WA – “One year ago, Hurricane Katrina brought devastation, death and despair to one of America’s great cities and the people who live there,” recalled Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, “and it also brought a new and dangerous form of demagoguery from the authorities that must never again be permitted on American soil.”

“In the aftermath of that horrible disaster,” Gottlieb observed, “a population brought to its knees by Mother Nature was subjected to the humiliation of unconstitutional disarmament with the warrantless seizure of lawfully-owned firearms. That’s why we sued the city and still have them in court; to remind them that we are a nation governed by law, not whim.

“It is bad enough when a disaster leaves you homeless,” he continued, “but when the authorities deliberately leave you defenseless in the midst of anarchy, that has to be stopped immediately. And a year ago, when police administrators, acting under nothing more than personal fiat simply decided to seize private property without due process or even statutory authority, the Second Amendment Foundation had no choice but to intervene.

“American citizens do not lose their civil rights because of a natural disaster,” Gottlieb stressed. “No hurricane can wash away the Bill of Rights or destroy the Second Amendment.

“One year ago,” he noted, “authorities in New Orleans attempted to set a dangerous precedent by ordering the confiscation of all privately-owned firearms, using chaos that erupted in the storm’s aftermath as their excuse. When we went to court, joined by the National Rifle Association, we were sending a clear message to people like Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Superintendent Warren Riley that such official misconduct cannot be tolerated in a nation where individual civil rights are supposed to be sacred.

“The job of rebuilding New Orleans is not finished,” Gottlieb said, “and neither is our effort to make certain that city officials never again think they can suspend the constitution. New Orleans is the first American city ever to order the confiscation of privately owned firearms, and it is going to be the last. America will never forget.”

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