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NEWS RELEASE
SAF DEMANDS ANSWERS FOR GUN BAN AT FEMA RELIEF CENTER OUTSIDE BATON ROUGE
BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation (SAF) today expressed shock and disbelief that authorities are continuing to target firearms held by private citizens who are now seeking refuge at a relief center outside Baker, Louisiana, a bedroom community near Baton Rouge.

According to a report that aired on the Lehrer News Hour on Thursday, displaced New Orleans residents are being allowed to move into a compound called "FEMA City," where trailers and RVs have been assembled to provide temporary housing. Among the conditions for being allowed to move in – and the only one detailed by Baker Mayor Harold Rideau – is that no firearms are allowed. The compound was established by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), hence its nickname.

"This is not acceptable," said SAF Founder Alan Gottlieb, "especially after the lawsuit that we, and the National Rifle Association, filed recently in New Orleans that secured a temporary restraining order against the confiscation of firearms by police in that city and in nearby St. Tammany Parish.

"It doesn't matter whether this refuge community is behind a gate, or whether it is patrolled by police and security guards," Gottlieb continued. "This restriction appears to be illegal under Louisiana law and the state constitution, as well as under a federal court ruling some years ago that protected firearms owned by residents in a federal public housing facility in another state.

"We are making inquiries about this restriction, and who ordered it," Gottlieb said. "When we find out, whether it is an order that came from local authorities, or from FEMA, when we establish who gave that order, we are going to pursue legal action.

"Being the victim of a natural disaster does not require a citizen to surrender his or her civil rights, and that includes firearms rights and property rights," Gottlieb stated. "The anti-gun attitude that seems to be growing out of Louisiana's disaster had better change, or we're going to change it in court."

-END-
 

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The more obvious problem is why the supposedly gun friendly Bush administration isnt making heads roll over both of these unconstitutional travesties, both the seizure of lawfully owned firearms in New Orleans and the forced disarming of refugees with little choice as to whether or not to accept federal assistance.
 

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Mus said:
The more obvious problem is why the supposedly gun friendly Bush administration isnt making heads roll over both of these unconstitutional travesties, both the seizure of lawfully owned firearms in New Orleans and the forced disarming of refugees with little choice as to whether or not to accept federal assistance.
Agreed, but I think the Bush adminisration has always gotten more credit for "gun-friendliness" than is warranted. In the elections against Gore, and then Kerry, he was certainly far better than the alternatives, from a 2nd Amendment perspective, but I would think we could set the bar a bit higher than that.
If the Democrats finally wake up to the fact that their love affair with civilian disarmament is costing them election after election, it might force the Republican party to become more actively pro-2nd Amendment, in order to gain some separation from the Democrats on that issue. As things currently stand, though, the Republicans have every reason to take our support for granted, because not supporting them would carry such dire consequences for us.
 

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I, too, am glad the SAF is getting involved in the FEMA situation. I agree with kjhof regarding Bush being the lesser of two evils in the last two elections. He hasn't done anything to demonstrate solid support for the Second Amendment in my mind. This whole New Orleans/FEMA fiasco has been an eye opener to say the least...
 

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Progress?

According to this, FEMA might back off from the ban--looks like gun rights groups are on the job again!
October 12, 2005 01:30 PM
Firearms ban at FEMA trailer park irks gun rights group

BATON ROUGE (AP) — Under pressure from gun rights groups, FEMA said today it is reconsidering a ban on firearms at a trailer park established to temporarily house Hurricane Katrina victims.

The dispute involves a nearly 600-trailer encampment that opened last week near Baton Rouge. Katrina evacuees will be allowed to stay there rent-free while they try to find permanent housing.

The Federal Emergency Management Agency said it has been general policy at FEMA for several years to prohibit guns at such parks anywhere in the country.

But the National Rifle Association threatened to sue, and another gun rights group, the Second Amendment Foundation, said it, too, was looking at legal action.

The East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office had asked that guns be banned at the encampment because the trailers are close together and have thin walls.

But FEMA spokesman James McIntyre said guns would have been prohibited even without the Sheriff's Office request.
 

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Compared to previous presidents, I'd say GWB has been pretty good to us.

Now, a lot of you were pissed off about his statement that he would sign to renew the assault weapon ban if it came before him. On the surface, that looks like he is anti-gun. However, in politics, things aren't always what they appear to be. A pro-gun elected official can't help us if he doesn't get elected. At the time GWB made that statement he knew two things: 1) If he came out with a statement that he was against the AW ban, he might lose a lot more votes than if he said he was for it; and 2) The Republican controlled House and Senate would never allow the AW ban to get to his desk for signature whether he supported it or not. So GWB made a wise political decision and pulled the wool over the eyes of the anti-gunners and got himself re-elected.

He already directed our Attorney General to commission this excellent official report.

http://www.usdoj.gov/olc/secondamendment2.htm#con

So now the Justice Department has officially recognized that the 2nd Amendment is an individual right. A huge milestone for us.

And he has now put forward Supreme Court nominee Harriet Miers, who is a gun owner and believes the 2nd Amendment is an individual right; probably the single greatest thing anyone could do to protect our gun rights.

GWB anti-gun? Hardly.
 

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I don't dispute your assertion that Bush isn't anti-gun, but I maintain that there is a significant between not anti-gun and pro-gun. Bush will give us anything that he thinks will gain him more political capital than it will cost him, but no more.
That said, I realize we needed to elect him in the last two elections, but I think that doing so was purely defensive in nature, in order to keep rabidly anti-gun weasels out of office.
 

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Well, I think to take that position is to ignore everything he has done for us, which I believe is pretty huge and is more than any other viable candidate would have done for us.

And I forgot to mention that GWB introduced us to Condoleeza Rice, who is on the record as stating she believes in the individual right to keep and bear arms because law enforcment refused to protect her family during the civil rights conflicts of the 60's. Dick Morris says that Condy is the only person who can take down Hillary Clinton in a presidential election. I think he is correct.
 

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A newspaper in Baton Rouge, the Baton Rouge Advocate, thinks the idea of a gun ban in the FEMA trailer park is a wonderful idea, and is upset that the NRA is criticizing it.

Keeping guns out of trailers
The last thing we need in Louisiana right now is Washington interest groups making trouble over practical decisions in an unprecedented national crisis.

The National Rifle Association is miffed at federal and local authorities because guns were banned in the Baker travel trailer park housing hurricane evacuees.

Those people need homes, and security is going to be provided. They're living in flimsy trailers. An accidental discharge of a firearm might result in a bullet going through several residences.

It's just a practical risk that the Sheriff's Office and the Federal Emergency Management Agency don't want to deal with.

Col. Greg Phares of the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Office said he's a fan of the NRA in most circumstances, but the right decision is to keep firearms out of the close quarters of the Baker site.

We believe the NRA ought to butt out. The group must have the wisdom to recognize that this is not a precedent about gun control laws. Everyone in the world knows that this is an extraordinary situation.

The NRA's interpretation of the right to keep arms is not everyone's interpretation of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. But even if all were agreed on that point, who can object to a reasonable restriction for reasons of public safety?

This is not going to be a binding example of arbitrary government power in anyone's book. It's a special case, and Phares and other officials are making the right call.
 

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Another victory for the NRA...another victory for all of us

FEMA will now allow disaster refugees living in FEMA housing to keep firearms. Link
NRA AND FREEDOM WIN AGAIN
FEMA Changes Gun Policy in Temporary
Housing Units in Louisiana

Monday, October 24, 2005


Fairfax, VA—Following concerns raised by the National Rifle Association (NRA), the Federal Emergency Management Authority (FEMA) has changed its policy regarding firearms in temporary housing units; storage and possession of firearms are no longer banned at FEMA temporary housing. FEMA officials notified NRA attorneys this weekend that FEMA is in the process of revamping firearms rules for temporary housing parks for all disasters but that they were taking "immediate steps to address this (ban)" at the FEMA Park in Baker, LA.

NRA Executive Vice President Wayne LaPierre welcomed this move saying, "It is wrong to force citizens to give up their constitutional rights in order for them to get a needed federal benefit. Our constitutional rights must be preserved even in the face of a natural disaster, a pandemic or a terrorist attack."

NRA chief lobbyist, Chris Cox added, "NRA's Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA) worked with FEMA authorities to help right this injustice. We're pleased that FEMA has formally changed their regulations nationwide on the possession and storage of firearms by law-abiding victims of disasters in their temporary housing parks."

The controversy erupted after the East Baton Rouge Parish Sheriff's Department asked FEMA to ban all firearms at temporary trailer shelters where victims of Hurricane Katrina were staying rent-free while they found permanent housing. NRA began to work with FEMA officials to reverse this policy as soon as the directive was issued. The NRA was also prepared to file a lawsuit, if the need arose.

This is the second major victory for the NRA in Louisiana following Hurricane Katrina. Earlier, the New Orleans Police Department was ordered to cease and desist their gun confiscation operations by the United States District Court for the Eastern District in Louisiana. The NRA pledged to tighten language in emergency statutes in Louisiana and other states to ensure gun confiscations do not happen again.

LaPierre said, "The Second Amendment must never be the first casualty of disaster. The breakdown of law and order in the aftermath of a disaster - is exactly the kind of situation where the Second Amendment was intended to allow citizens to protect themselves. After Hurricane Katrina hit, and lawlessness prevailed across the region, many victims depended on their guns for survival against the roving bands of thugs, looters and rapists."

"NRA-ILA will address this at the state and federal level. Efforts are currently underway in the states. The media images of lawlessness are the most compelling images to help us make this argument. When disaster hits, 911 is nonexistent. It is wrong for government to take away the only tool for survival - a lawfully owned firearm - that victims haveunder these circumstances," concluded Cox.
NRA, all the way! :rock:
 

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kjhof said:
FEMA will now allow disaster refugees living in FEMA housing to keep firearms. Link


NRA, all the way! :rock:
Don't forget to mention the G.O.A. and J.P.F.O. contributions to this victory. Somebody needs to publicize what those organizations have done to help these poor people instead of always talking about what the N.R.A. and the S.A.F. are doing.
 

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kjhof said:
I don't dispute your assertion that Bush isn't anti-gun, but I maintain that there is a significant between not anti-gun and pro-gun. Bush will give us anything that he thinks will gain him more political capital than it will cost him, but no more.
That said, I realize we needed to elect him in the last two elections, but I think that doing so was purely defensive in nature, in order to keep rabidly anti-gun weasels out of office.
Here's my problem with the president, He rode into office with the support of gunowners, then does nothing but play politics and fails to do things he clearly has an oppurtunity to advance a pro gun agenda. (second term justice dept, 2 big misses on the supreme court, and SAYS he'll sign an extension of the AWB)

IMO Bush is gun neutral, and while some of his appointees are pro gun, some are anti gun (AG Gonzales) and the majority are neutral. He has been neither friend or enemy to gunowners. He's played politics where he could've been and advocate.

So If I were rating the president on his term of office and his DIRECT actions I'd five him a C- when it comes to gun rights...
 

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kjhof said:
I had seen that on Lehrer, but assumed that they could make whatever contractual stipulations they wanted in housing they were providing. It will be great if that's not the case, and something can be done about this. Go, SAF :rock: !
If by "they" you mean the feds/FEMA, they aren't providing anything. They are simply working for us and using our tax dollars to set up housing.
 

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The Drew said:
Here's my problem with the president, He rode into office with the support of gunowners, then does nothing but play politics and fails to do things he clearly has an oppurtunity to advance a pro gun agenda. (second term justice dept, 2 big misses on the supreme court, and SAYS he'll sign an extension of the AWB)

IMO Bush is gun neutral, and while some of his appointees are pro gun, some are anti gun (AG Gonzales) and the majority are neutral. He has been neither friend or enemy to gunowners. He's played politics where he could've been and advocate.

So If I were rating the president on his term of office and his DIRECT actions I'd five him a C- when it comes to gun rights...
even the NRA election guide clearly stated that Bush is not exactly pro-gun. The only reason why I voted for him was because I hated Al Gore and John Kerry's guts. Lesser ofthe two evil I suppose in a nutshell. And I dislike that he submits to the Affirmative Action and his firends without consideering the good of the American public.
 

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Just wanted to add my personal thanks to all individuals and groups that were involved in this effort.

Someone should write to people/media who supported the prohibition and ask what other rights should have been suspended in the name of "safety" in such an "extraordinary circumstance." I'll bet the temporary housing would be safer if FEMA agents were permitted to conduct unwarranted searches whenever they pleased. Since temporary housing among displaced people can be a breeding ground for gangs, perhaps the right to assemble peacefully should be suspended as well. Would the supporters of the now-ousted firearms ban support those?

On Bush, I always saw him as gun-neutral in my eyes. He seems to be with us in principle, but is too willing to make exceptions -- one of those "you have the right to keep and bear arms, but not when x, y, or z apply" types. He also, like all modern politicians with considerable influence, is too willing to let polls override principle. I grudgingly accept him as a psudo-ally, especially considering the alternative.

Given the current political climate, I can't say I blame him. I also will not say that it is neccesarrily a bad thing. This issue is one that seems to change minds slowly. States do a little better to respect the RKBA, people see that it doesn't cause a bloodbath, more people come to our side, those extra supporters allow states to do a little more. Cycles like this have spread pro-gun laws throughout most of the country over the last few decades (especially with regards to concealed carry) while widening our support. If the figureheads for this movement -- including the president simply because of his position -- tried to do to much too quickly, we might lose that momentum by shocking fence-sitters to the other side. That is exactly what the other side is doing with people like Feinstein, Kennedy, and Brady.

Bringing myself back to the topic of the thread... does anyone know exactly how much influence Bush had in the initial decision? I would expect that the process for appointing people to head organizations like FEMA doesn't often involve screening their opinions on RKBA. Also, it is possible that this decision was not made at a level or position that was appointed by the president, removing Bush entirely from the decision making process. I know that he ultimately has the authority to force a rule change, but that only comes into play once the rule is in place and gets attention (like this one) -- I doubt he has the time or interest to screen every rule FEMA makes. I'm not saying he defenitely is off the hook, but I don't want to jump to conclusions and make judgements about him based on this without knowing his role in how the situation came about.
 
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