BELLEVUE, WA – More than seven months have passed since New Orleans residents were forcibly and illegally disarmed in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, and starting Monday, April 17, the City of New Orleans will be returning seized firearms to their rightful owners, thanks to legal action by the Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) and National Rifle Association (NRA).

“We’ve learned from the police that starting Monday at 8 a.m., New Orleans gun owners can get their firearms back,” noted SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “The city had been denying for more than five months that these guns were in possession. Only when SAF and the NRA filed a motion to have Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Superintendent Warren Riley held in contempt of court did city officials miraculously discover that more than a thousand seized firearms were being stored.”

Residents whose guns were taken should call the New Orleans Police at (504) 658-5503 or go in person to the Police Property and Evidence facility, at 400 North Jefferson Davis Parkway. Gun owners will have to provide proof of ownership, which could include a bill of sale, a description of the firearm including brand and model and the serial number or a notarized affidavit that describes the firearm. Citizens claiming their firearms will need proper identification, such as a driver’s license. Before firearms are returned, New Orleans police will conduct a background check.

“Hopefully, this marks the beginning of the end to a legal battle that we’ve been waging since last fall,” Gottlieb said. “Our victory in court should send a clear signal that no mayor or police chief can suspend the Constitution on a whim, or seize private property, including firearms, from private citizens without due process.

“Natural disasters may destroy great cities, but they do not destroy civil rights,” Gottlieb observed. “Law-abiding citizens who are victims of nature must never again be victimized by governments that strip them of their only means of self-defense. America must never forget the lesson of New Orleans. Public officials better remember that if they ever try another arbitrary seizure of firearms from their law-abiding owners, SAF will be there to stop them.”

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