BELLEVUE, WA – Looting in Brooklyn, N.Y. as Hurricane Sandy moved out underscores the importance of the right to keep and bear arms, especially in an emergency, the Second Amendment Foundation said today.

“A story in today’s Huffington Post tells about a pharmacy worker who could only watch as people started walking down the street robbing stores,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb. “But so many shopkeepers are defenseless to stop this, thanks to the anti-gun policies of Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

“After this,” he mused, “should anyone wonder why we are suing Bloomberg and the City of New York over their handgun permitting process?”

The Huffington Post said looting began even before flood waters had subsided. Thieves stole from drug stores, banks and other shops. One pharmacy manager said the storm and looting “breaks the business.”

“People should be able to protect their lives and livelihoods,” Gottlieb observed, “especially in the wake of a natural disaster. Despite one report that there is a New York cop stationed on every block, business owners must have the means to defend what’s theirs.”

He recalled that in 2005, SAF successfully sued the City of New Orleans to halt illegal firearm confiscations when social order completely broke down and citizens were on their own for days after Hurricane Katrina.

“Our prayers are with the victims of this disaster all along the East Coast,” Gottlieb said. “We encourage all Americans to support relief efforts however they can.

“But,” he added, “we also hold Bloomberg and his cronies, and their counterparts in New Jersey, partly accountable for losses to looters because business and property owners have been continually deprived of the means to discourage or stop looters.

“People have lost a lot,” he concluded. “They should not lose what’s left because of regressive anti-gun laws that have been perpetuated by Bloomberg and others to keep them defenseless.”