BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today expressed shock and disbelief that authorities are continuing to target firearms held by private citizens who are now seeking refuge at a relief center outside Baker, Louisiana, a bedroom community near Baton Rouge.
According to a report that aired on the Lehrer News Hour on Thursday, displaced New Orleans residents are being allowed to move into a compound called “FEMA City,” where trailers and RVs have been assembled to provide temporary housing. Among the conditions for being allowed to move in – and the only one detailed by Baker Mayor Harold Rideau – is that no firearms are allowed. The compound was established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), hence its nickname.
“This is not acceptable,” said SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb, “especially after the lawsuit that we, and the National Rifle Association, filed recently in New Orleans that secured a temporary restraining order against the confiscation of firearms by police in that city and in nearby St. Tammany Parish.
“It doesn’t matter whether this refuge community is behind a gate, or whether it is patrolled by police and security guards,” Gottlieb continued. “This restriction appears to be illegal under Louisiana law and the state constitution, as well as under a federal court ruling some years ago that protected firearms owned by residents in a federal public housing facility in another state.
“We are making inquiries about this restriction, and who ordered it,” Gottlieb said. “When we find out, whether it is an order that came from local authorities, or from FEMA, when we establish who gave that order, we are going to pursue legal action.
“Being the victim of a natural disaster does not require a citizen to surrender his or her civil rights, and that includes firearms rights and property rights,” Gottlieb stated. “The anti-gun attitude that seems to be growing out of Louisiana’s disaster had better change, or we’re going to change it in court.”