Media, Politicians Keeping Gun Confiscation Quiet
-- Your help needed to "rattle cages" on Capitol Hill
Gun Owners of America
8001 Forbes Place, Suite 102
Springfield, VA 22151
Thursday, September 15, 2005
Last week, GOA alerted you to the fact that officials were illegally confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens in New Orleans. National Guard troops and police were going door-to-door and seizing guns from honest residents, without any constitutional or legal power to do so.
Despite a few initial reports in the New York Times, the Associated Press and ABC News, there has been nothing said in the mainstream news since then.
Not surprisingly, GOA has found that many offices on Capitol Hill are completely unaware that gun confiscations were occurring!
To help overcome this appalling lack of information, GOA has constructed a special section at http://www.gunowners.org/notb.htm on the GOA website, so that gun owners, media pundits and congressmen can see for themselves what has been happening in New Orleans. Viewers can read articles and see actual video of the gun confiscations and forced evacuations occurring.
Gun owners are strongly encouraged to visit this web link and to encourage other freedom lovers to go there as well.
GOA has aggressively pursued the media and has been able to place opeds in many news outlets. GOA spokesman have also hit the airwaves to alert Americans on many, many talk shows across the nation.
What Else Is GOA Doing?
In addition to the educational efforts mentioned above, GOA will be pursuing any and all legal and judicial avenues that are available. GOA does not have standing to sue in the courts. However, we can help a member who has had his or her guns illegally confiscated. We already know of one person in Louisiana who is planning to bring a suit, and we will be prepared to spend money to advance cases like this one.
GOA has also drafted model legislation to hold these sleazy public officials accountable. GOA extends kudos to gun author Alan Korwin who has correctly noted that federal law already provides sanctions for "conspiracy against rights" in 18 USC § 241. This is one avenue that needs to be pursued. And the President should be asking Attorney General Alberto Gonzalez to bring charges against New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin and the Police Commissioner Edwin Compass III. (But don't hold your breath. After all, The Washington Post reported on September 9 that U.S. Marshals, who work for Gonzalez, were also participating in the confiscation of firearms.)
GOA's model legislation would hit gun grabbing politicians from another angle, in that the bill will provide sanctions if those officials -- either now or in the future -- try to use "martial law" or "emergency powers" to confiscate firearms. Namely, the legislation will force them to lose every dollar of the precious relief funds that they so greatly covet.
The legislation states in part that "no funds appropriated pursuant to any provision of law may be used (1) to involuntarily force any person out of that person's home if the person is not in imminent danger, or (2) to disarm law-abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights."
Why New Legislation?
Some have asked, "Why is new legislation needed? Don't we have a constitutional amendment that already protects the right to keep and bear arms?"
Yes, we do. And hence, the same question could be asked about concealed carry laws. Why enact CCW laws when the Second Amendment already protects the rights of citizens to "bear" arms?
The reason is quite simple: Because of concealed carry laws around the country, there are now hundreds of thousands of Americans who can carry firearms legally WITHOUT being thrown into jail. Concealed carry laws represent a first step toward true freedom to carry without permits and have helped to protect and guarantee the rights of American citizens.
Likewise, this model legislation will provide a practical means for punishing officials who would violate the rights of law-abiding American citizens.
If there is one down-side, the model draft is almost too good. GOA has found congressmen that may be willing to introduce this legislation, but generally speaking, they are scared to introduce anything that might jeopardize the billions of dollars of financial aid that will be going to New Orleans.
That's where you guys come in.
ACTION: Please use the pre-written letter below to help direct your thoughts to your congressman. Urge him or her to introduce legislation that will deny funds to ANY group of officials that would violate the Second Amendment.
Look, it's your money that is being sent to New Orleans. You should have a right to require that those politicians receiving your money will not use it to disarm fellow American citizens. So again:
1. Please write your congressman today. You can visit the Gun Owners Legislative Action Center at http://www.gunowners.org/activism.htm to send your Representative a pre-written e-mail message such as the one below.
2. Urge other lovers of freedom to visit http://www.gunowners.org/notb.htm on the GOA website. We need to sound the alarm and let as many people as possible know what has happened to our fellow Americans!
--- Pre-written letter ---
Did you know that officials have been confiscating the firearms of law-abiding citizens in New Orleans? Did you know this has even occurred in the dry sections of New Orleans where, arguably, there is no need for forced evacuations?
This is an outrage! You can see all this for yourself at http://www.gunowners.org/notb.htm on the website of Gun Owners of America.
I would encourage you to introduce legislation that will put a stop to this. There should be sanctions against any official -- either now or in the future -- who tries to use "martial law" or "emergency powers" to confiscate firearms. If corrupt politicians are going to suspend the rights of decent Americans, then those officials should lose every dollar of the precious relief funds that they so greatly covet.
GOA has drafted model legislation which states, in part, that "no funds appropriated pursuant to any provision of law may be used (1) to involuntarily force any person out of that person’s home if the person is not in imminent danger, or (2) to disarm law-abiding citizens exercising their Second Amendment rights."
Will you introduce this legislation as an amendment to the next supplemental appropriations bill? This is incredibly important to me and millions of other law-abiding Americans. Please let me know what you intend to do.
GOA will also be looking to "beef up" the emergency procedures statutes of the several states. Many such laws grant extraordinary powers to bureaucrats during an emergency. We are looking to SPECIFICALLY deny the power to confiscate guns when such procedures are implemented.
These actions, as well as the ones at the federal and judicial levels mentioned above, are going to be costly. Please, if you have not already done so, stop by http://www.gunowners.org/ordergoamem.htm and become a member of GOA. Your membership dues are our war chest in this and other endeavors.
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