Governor of Virgin Islands Orders National Guard to Seize Americans’ Firearms

Gun Confiscation Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Flashback: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was placed under martial law. Residents were forcibly disarmed. image : AP
Flashback: Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans was placed under martial law. Residents were forcibly disarmed. image : AP
National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)
National Rifle Association Institute For Legislative Action (NRA-ILA)

Fairfax, VA – -(Ammoland.com)- With hurricane season now upon us, U.S. states and territories are preparing for a barrage of potentially extreme and damaging weather.

In the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), however, those preparations include an order by Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp for the National Guard to seize residents’ lawfully-owned firearms and ammunition, ostensibly as a means of promoting public order and protecting life and property.

Certainly, the rest of America’s thoughts and prayers are with the USVI as Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 storm, closes in on the Caribbean. Nevertheless, the scope of Gov. Mapp’s order is a shocking incursion on the right of the U.S. citizens who reside on the USVI to protect themselves from the all-too-predictable outbreaks of looting and crime that can occur when normal emergency services are over-taxed by an extraordinary event. The order, simply put, violates the U.S. Constitution and threatens to put innocent people at further risk.

The order states in no uncertain terms that the Adjutant General of the U.S. Virgin Islands National Guard is “authorized and directed to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material and any other property” deemed necessary to the mission of maintaining or restoring order during the storm.

America has seen similar overreaches in the past, most notoriously during the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, when local officials ordered the confiscation of lawfully-owned firearms from New Orleans residents. First responders had been overwhelmed by the demands of the storm, and those who had not managed to evacuate were dealing with virtual anarchy.

The NRA intervened in federal court and was able to halt the confiscations and obtain an order requiring the return of the seized firearms. Nevertheless, the city delayed compliance with the order for as long as it could, including requiring unrealistic documentation from gun owners whose lives had been turned upside by the storm. Only in 2008 did the NRA and the city agree on mutually acceptable terms for the return of the unlawfully confiscated property.

The NRA also promoted legislation to prevent government officials from using their emergency powers as a pretext for disarming the citizenry. In 2006, Congressman Bobby Jindal (LA) led the fight to protect America’s gun owners against these abuses by introducing H.R. 5013 in the House, a final version of which was signed by President George W. Bush in October of that year.  Now codified at 42 U.S.C. § 5207, the law prohibits persons acting under color of federal law, receiving federal funds, or acting at the direction of a federal employee from seizing or authorizing the seizure of lawfully-possessed firearms during a state of emergency. The majority of U.S. states now have similar laws.

The application of U.S. law to the USVI can present complicated legal issues, but the bottom line is that Gov. Mapp’s order infringes on the Second Amendment rights of U.S. citizens. For many gun owners, the shocking site of a frail woman being slammed to the ground in her own home by police enforcing the post-Katrina order remains an indelible image of the very sort of violent firearm seizures that some claim could never happen in the U.S.

The NRA is therefore prepared to engage as necessary to ensure that Gov. Mapp’s overreaching order is reversed so that residents of the USVI have all legal tools available to weather the storm, including their lawfully-owned, constitutionally-protected arms.

About:
Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the “lobbying” arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. Visit: www.nra.org

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Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

So, this Constitution violating Governor of the U.S.V.I. got away with it? No, punishment or downside? Well, I guess the precedent is set!

Alan
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Alan

Respecting what appears to clearly be illegal,action and orders, how about the governor and responsible National Guard officers being arrested? Seems like a valid action, given what seems to be existing federal law. Of course, this citizen will not hold his breath or even try to so do, while awaits the above referenced law enforcement action

Jim
Guest
Jim

How about that video above? Police/Sheriffs refusal to give a receipt to law abiding for confiscation of his 2 rifles stating it would take too long to write you a receipt (sounds just like the Suffolk County Police on Long Island). “You want your rifles back get a lawyer.” The other one where police smash law abiding citizens’ rifle and pistol on cement as part of the unlawful confiscation. And the other where the old woman who looks about 100 pounds holding an unloaded pistol in the palm of her hand and and huge police pounce on top of her… Read more »

Alan
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Alan

Not only does it engender distrust of and anger at the police, it does exactly the same for the citizens view of and thoughts about government in general.

Jim
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Jim

Governor Mapp was on the Tucker Carlson show the other night. He continued to put a spin and double talk on the gun confiscation. Tucker persisted for clarity on the gun confiscation. Governor Mapp then definitively stated he did not order the gun confiscation stating it was the local National Guard that took it upon themselves to confiscate the guns of the citizens.

Alan
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Alan

If that be the case, have the offending National Guard officials been arrested, and by the way, have the governor’s armed security personnel been disarmed? If not, how come or is that a dumb question?

Lance Burnell
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Lance Burnell

This is not being explained truthfully, it has nothing to do with taking peoples guns, it authorizes the N.G. to spend government money to buy guns and ammo from a gun store, if needed. Normally they have to buy guns using the standard practice of using purchase orders, this allows them to by pass that. It has nothing to do with taking gun owners guns and ammo.

Macofjack
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Macofjack

The law (or what ever they are calling it) is not worded truthfully. It is wide open to interpretation and should be reworded to make it more clear what the intent is. As it stands it can mean anything the government wants it to say!

Roger F. Garner
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Roger F. Garner

When they come for your guns , shoot to kill.

Gerald Brennan
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Gerald Brennan

The names of the “men” who agree to do the actual door-to-door disarmament should be publicized.

DAW
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DAW

My understanding is that the order, when the referenced statues are applied, says the National Guard can purchase guns, where available for sale, without going through normal procurement channels. The have the authority to spend money . . .

Gary Benoit
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Gary Benoit

You may be generous and believe that is what the governor intends. but it is clearly not what the order says. The wording is not ambiguous, it is clear and precise. If the governor wants to stop the fuss, withdraw the order and reword it. Otherwise I suggest the people find a leader who will.

Wild Bill
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Wild Bill

No matter what the federal, state, territorial, county, or municipal governments say; no matter what the Constitutions says; and no matter what politicians promise they will all do what ever they think that they have to do to stay in power.
The Continuation of Government plan, created by authorization of Ronald Reagan, is a plan to continue all the government agencies, if the elected government should fall. It contains no provision for restoring the elected governments, and it contains no provisions for continuing… you!
COG is no secret. The agencies practice COG once per year.

Eaglesnester
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Eaglesnester

I wonder where Gov Mapp will find the rough men to enforce his unconstitutional diktats?