U.S.A. –-(Ammoland.com)- Several publications on the Internet have been examining the emergency proclamation of 11 March, and emergency proclamation of 16 March by Mayor LaToya Cantrell, of New Orleans, Louisiana. The claim seems to be that Mayor Cantrell is promoting restrictions on the ownership of guns and/or the exercise of Second Amendment rights. That claim is not justified by Mayor Cantrell’s actions.
What mayor Cantrell did was to follow the law, nothing less, nothing more.
Here is the controversial paragraph in the emergency proclamation issued on 11 March, 2020.
The proclamation of 11 March clearly states: Subject to the provisions of ACT 275 of 2006 (regular session),
The statute which grants emergency powers to the mayor is RS29:727. Paragraph F.(8) is directly quoted in the 11 March proclamation. RS 29:727 F.(8) From legis.la.gov:
(8) Suspend or limit the sale, dispensing, or transportation of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles.
Mayor Cantrell’s office was very careful when they created the proclamation, which simply asserted her power to act under RS 29:727. They knew they were limited on what could be done, because of the reforms put into the law, and because of lawsuits that had been filed after the fiasco of gun confiscation during Hurricane Katrina.
Representative Steve Scalise, who is now the Minority Whip in the U.S. House of Representatives, was instrumental in passing the reform in Louisiana in 2006. The reform is known as ACT 275. It limits seizures of firearms from citizens during a state of emergency. From legis.state.la.us:
ACT 275 (HB 760 Scalise) – Prohibits the seizure of firearms from law-abiding citizens during a state of emergency. Allows law enforcement officers to disarm someone when the officer reasonably believes it is necessary for the protection of the officer or anyone else. If an arrest is not made or the weapon seized as part of a criminal investigation, the weapon must be returned.
Mayor Cantrell carefully stated her authority over firearms was limited by ACT 275.
The 11 March emergency proclamation only stated the authority Mayor Cantrell had under statute RS 29:727.
When an emergency proclamation was made on 16 March, Mayor Cantrell used her statutory authority. She limited private and public gatherings. She did not prohibit sales of firearms or transportation of them. Her use of emergency powers was limited and measured to deal with the potential spread of the Wu Flu, or Coronavirus COVID-19.
The March 16 emergency proclamation omits any mention of firearms or ammunition. This was a deliberate move. It was not a copy and paste of all that RS 29:727 grants her the authority to do.
There are plenty of examples where mayors flout the law and have to be held in check with lawsuits, withholding of federal funds, or by being voted out of office.
The mayor of New Orleans deserves credit for following the law and being responsive.
In August of 2019, Mayor Cantrell came up with a three-part plan to deal with “gun violence”. “Gun Violence” is an Orwellian propaganda term. While “gun violence” is used in Mayor Cantrell’s plan, Mayor Cantrell’s plan does not call for outlawing guns, gun registration, banning semi-automatics, or curtailing the exercise of Second Amendment rights.
First, Mayor Cantrell’s plan calls for the creation of a Gun Violence Prevention Collective, to study the issue, create pilot programs, and to determine what works to reduce gun violence. This does not include restrictive gun legislation.
Second, the plan calls for Solving more Homicide Cases with funding of a New Orleans Crime Lab and a change in the way homicide cases are managed.
Third, the Cure Violence New Orleans program builds on Ceasefire New Orleans. The program focuses on the small number of violent people and situations where most homicides occur.
None of these parts promote more restrictions on gun ownership or the exercise of Second Amendment rights.
Mayor Cantrell could have followed the national trend of big-city mayors and promoted bans on rifles, bans on the carry of personal defense weapons, and other failed strategies.
Mayor Cantrell knows those will not work in Louisiana, where the Second Amendment is honored. She is not a stupid politician.
Give Mayor Cantrell her due. She has not used her emergency proclamations to snipe at the exercise of Second Amendment rights.
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.