BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has warned the City of Guntersville, Ala. to drop its effort to pass an emergency citizen disarmament ordinance or face legal action.
Guntersville Mayor Leigh Dollar is reportedly working on a proposal – to be discussed at the city council’s March 4 meeting – that would allow police to confiscate firearms from allegedly “unruly” citizens during an emergency, such as the aftermath of a storm.
“The city of Guntersville has no legal authority to adopt or enforce such an ordinance,” said SAF Executive Vice President Alan Gottlieb in a letter to Guntersville City Attorney Dan Warnes.
He also asserted that the city’s existing tax on firearms dealers and a prohibition on carrying firearms at farmers’ markets are also violations of state law.
Last year, SAF launched a pilot project in two states that calls attention to local ordinances that are in violation of state laws. The organization has gotten very good cooperation from communities in Virginia and Washington state, with but one exception. The City of Oak Harbor, Wash. initially balked at repealing a decades-old ban on guns in city parks, until SAF threatened a lawsuit and inspired a huge public turnout at a council meeting in January, resulting in the ordinance’s repeal.
“We recall vividly what happened after Hurricane Katrina,” Gottlieb said. “New Orleans police forcefully disarmed peaceful, law-abiding citizens for no good reason until we stepped in with a federal lawsuit and stopped it. Local public officials occasionally need to be reminded that they were elected to serve the public, not rule over their constituents or nullify their constitutional rights.
“What happened in New Orleans can never be allowed to happen again on American soil,” he insisted. “Evidently Mayor Dollar has forgotten that civil rights travesty, but we didn’t.”