BELLEVUE, WA – In a stunning reversal, the City of New Orleans revealed today to attorneys representing the Second Amendment Foundation and National Rifle Association that they do have a stockpile of firearms seized from private citizens in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.
The disclosure came as attorneys for both sides were preparing for a hearing in federal court on a motion filed earlier by SAF and NRA to hold the city in contempt. Plaintiffs’ attorneys traveled to a location within the New Orleans city limits where they viewed more than 1,000 firearms that were being stored.
“This is a very significant event,” said attorney Dan Holliday, who represents NRA and SAF in an on-going lawsuit seeking to enjoin the city from seizing privately-owned firearms.
“We’re almost in disbelief,” admitted SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb. “For months, the city has maintained it did not have any guns in its possession that had been taken from people following the hurricane. Now our attorneys have seen the proof that New Orleans was less than honest with the court.”
Under an agreement with the court, the hearing on the contempt motion has been continued for two weeks, the attorneys said. During that time, according to Holliday and fellow attorney Stephen Halbrook, the city will establish a process by which the lawful owners of those firearms can recover their guns.
“While we are stunned at this complete reversal on the city’s part,” Gottlieb said, “the important immediate issue is making sure gun owners get their property back. We’re glad that the city is going to move swiftly to make that possible, and naturally we will do whatever is necessary to make this happen.
“What happened in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina was an outrage,” Gottlieb observed. “Equally disturbing is the fact that it apparently took a motion for contempt to force the city to admit what it had been denying for the past five months.