BELLEVUE, WA – Frustrated by repeated failures to meet court-appointed deadlines, and a pattern of disregard by the City of New Orleans, the Second Amendment Foundation has filed a motion to hold Mayor Ray Nagin and Police Superintendent Warren Riley in contempt of federal court.

A hearing on the motion is scheduled for Jan. 31 in federal district court in New Orleans. The Second Amendment Foundation is suing Nagin and Riley over the confiscation of firearms from law-abiding citizens in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005. Joining SAF in the lawsuit is the National Rifle Association.

“Mayor Nagin, Chief Riley and the city’s attorney have repeatedly failed to communicate with our legal counsel, even for the most trivial of matters related to this lawsuit,” said SAF founder Alan Gottlieb. “We were prepared to file this motion months ago, but gave the city several opportunities to comply with the court, and to begin returning seized firearms to their rightful owners. They haven’t done it.

“There comes a time when patience runs out,” Gottlieb said, “and people need to be held accountable for what amounts to an arrogant disregard for the seriousness of this lawsuit and the rights of New Orleans gun owners.”

The motion notes that Nagin and Riley failed to comply with a discovery order issued last Nov. 29 and asks that the court compel them to answer discovery questions from SAF and NRA attorneys. The defendants had been ordered to exchange initial disclosure information by Dec. 12, but ignored that deadline.

“At first,” Gottlieb recalled, “Nagin, Riley and the city claimed they had not seized anyone’s firearms. Then, faced with the threat of a contempt motion, they ‘discovered’ that guns had been taken and were being held at a central location. After that, the city promised to begin returning firearms, but put roadblocks in the way for citizens to retrieve their guns.

“The city’s behavior in this matter, and particularly that of Mayor Nagin and Chief Riley, has been deplorable, and it is time for them to behave like adults,” Gottlieb said. “Since the day the city began seizing firearms, Nagin and Riley have acted as though they are above the law. It is time they learned otherwise.