The NRA-ILA writes [via ammoland.com]

With hurricane season now upon us, U.S. states and territories are preparing for a barrage of potentially damaging weather. In the U.S. Virgin Islands (USVI), however, those preparations include an order by Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp (above) 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 during Hurricane Irma.

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.

Certainly, the rest of America’s thoughts and prayers are with the USVI as they recover from the damage Irma caused. Nevertheless, Gov. Mapp’s Sept. 4 order was an inexcusable 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 overtaxed by an extraordinary event.

Simply put, it violated the U.S. Constitution and threatened to put innocent people at further risk.

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.  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 intervened in federal court and was able to halt the New Orleans 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 NRA quickly condemned Gov. Mapp’s order and pledged to take any necessary legal action to ensure that the people of the USVI were not deprived of their constitutionally protected arms when they might need them the most.

Barely 24 hours later, Gov. Mapp appeared before a national audience on the Tucker Carlson Show and furiously backpedaled, bizarrely claiming that the order simply meant that Guard units could purchase necessary emergency supplies at retail without the formalities of normal procurement procedures. “This is not about seizing anybody’s personal property,” he insisted.

That on-the-fly revision was too much even for the “fact-checking” (and typically antigun) website Snopes, which acknowledged there was no support for this interpretation in the actual words of the order itself.

Just what Gov. Mapp meant to do or thought he was doing with his “seizure” order remains unclear. To date, the NRA has received no information that any actual seizures have occurred.

Nevertheless, the incident should serve as a wake-up call for those who insist that the threat of civilian firearm confiscation is a scare tactic invented by the NRA. Americans saw it themselves this week, stamped with the gold seal of officialdom.

As ever, your NRA will remain vigilant and prepared to act so that no law-abiding American is forced to face danger without the protection guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.


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

33 Responses to NRA-ILA: BVI Emergency Order Shows Firearms Confiscation is a Clear and Present Danger

    • Gee I commented on Mapp’s idiotic “conversation” with Tucker in realtime. I guess I don’t count(or get paid)…😆😆😆

  1. The only question left to be answered is. Will the Justice Department investigate this incident and file the necessary charges? 42 U.S.C. 5207 is very clear and easily understandable. If the Justice department fails to act it will mean one more dead leaf has fallen from the Tree of Liberty.

    • The other question to ask is weither or not the NRA-ILA calls Paul Ryan on his latest bullshit of stonewalling firearms legislation? My magic 8 ball says ” The answer is NO.” Paul “lyin” Ryan…Democrat in RINO’s skin. May he rot in hell like most politicians and lawyers!

  2. The Constitution doesn’t necessarily apply to the territories. Too bad, so sad. That’s settled law for over a century now. Downes v. Bidwell.

    • Um… you might want to re-read that decision. It specifically noted that constitutional guarantees of a citizen’s rights of liberty and property are applicable. The 2nd amendment is clearly one such guarantee. This is why I hate amateurs who never read past the 1 sentence case description.

  3. No matter where I live, you come for my guns you leave in a body bag. NO order can violate the 2A. Not to mention SCOTUS has already ruled on this.

  4. “With hurricane season now upon us, U.S. states and territories are preparing for a barrage of potentially damaging weather.”

    You’re telling *me*.

    Outside of no electricity until Tue, 6PM, only real damage on my end was about 1/3 of a tree let go in my yard and destroyed my HF antennae. LOTS of trees down in the area, one guy in Tampa climbed a tree to cut a snapped limb and his chainsaw kicked back and cut his cardioid artery in his neck and he bled out and died in seconds, still up in the tree.

    I’ll be taking a long, hard look at how to do a similar surgery on the 1/3 of my tree that snapped about 25 feet up.

    Outside of smelling like a goat for two days, we got off easy here. I’ve heard reports 6 million plus without power state-wide, so plenty more folks will be suffering for at least a few weeks.

    While it’s warm here, it’s about 15 degrees *cooler* here in September than it was in August 2004 when we got hit by 3 hurricanes in 5 weeks and I was without power for 9 days total.

    Happiness is relative… 🙂

  5. The short, one page order is found here: http://dailycaller.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/09/NATL-GUARD.pdf. And I’m not sure that Mapp was “furiously backpedeling” when he defended the order.

    I listened to Gov. Mapp when defend the order on Tucker Carlson. As stated, his position was that the order does not allow the seizure of guns from private individuals, but only for the National Guard to seize guns and ammo from businesses if it needs the guns or ammo to carry out their duties. And that businesses would be compensated for anything seized after the emergency.

    The exact reading of the order is, “The Adjutant General is authorized and directed to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material and any other property that may be required by the military forces for the performance of this emergency mission…”

    And after looking at 23 V.I.C. § 1522 (2017) it may be he is correct – both the law and the order allow seizure of materials “required by the military forces.” The code section cited in the order states:

    § 1522. Authority of Governor for the attachment of articles and to order the closing of establishments

    Whenever the Governor orders part or all of the military forces of the Virgin Islands into Territorial Active Military Service under section 1519 he may, by written order–

    (1) Direct the Adjutant General or other appropriate authority to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material, and any other property that may be required by the military forces.

    (2) Prohibit the sale, exchange, loan or donation, during the emergency of arms, ammunition, explosives, gasoline, incendiary material or alcoholic beverages, and the closing of any establishment in which any such property is found.

    (3) Declare a curfew, during such periods and with respect to such areas and persons as in his discretion the public safety requires.

    (4) Any other powers authorized by law.

    Upon termination of the emergency, compensation shall be paid by the Government of the Virgin Islands for the loss, damage, or destruction of any private property taken for Government purposes during the emergency.

    I don’t agree section (2) is not a constitutional infringement, but you better have been prepared before an emergency and not going to the store to buy stuff you will need, including guns and ammo, in the middle of one.

    I lived on a boat sailing out of Rosy Roads, PR throughout the VI for several years until Hugo ate my sailboat and still have friends in the Islands. It was a different time, but I always had stainless Ruger mini 14 and Colt stainless 1911 Gold Cup I bought while in the Army, and never had any issues with guns the entire time. I don’t know what Mapp meant to have the National Guard do, but in his defense, what he said on Carlson is entirely reasonable.

      • “My father and I sailed through the Bahamas decades ago with a stainless steel mini folder!”

        I had one of my own, the ‘sterile’ folding stock from the AC556, on the stainless ranch rifle with scope rings.

        If you still have it, do you want to sell it?

    • ” As stated, his position was that the order does not allow the seizure of guns from private individuals, but only for the National Guard to seize guns and ammo from businesses if it needs the guns or ammo to carry out their duties. And that businesses would be compensated for anything seized after the emergency.”

      If they need it from a business, just *ask* the business, like the LAPD did in the ‘North Hollywood Shoot-out”.

      The shop employees were happily loading magazines for the cops as fast as they could, for cripe’s sake!

      • Has anyone done a follow-up story on the gun store were the LA Police “got” the guns they used against the north Hollywood bank robbers?

  6. In Florida when we get mandatory evacuation notice we get to pack a concealed pistol without permit. That’s the way it should be in emergencies. This last go around Florida was almost a constitutional carry state.

    My thoughts and prayers are with those in the Lower Florida Keys and those trying to return home.

  7. Gun confiscation just seems so random (even though it isn’t) leading up to a hurricane. I am sure there are alot of other productive things the government there could be doing other than trying to confiscate legally owned weapons.

    It seems like:

    Hurricane + Gun Theft + ? = Profit [wtf]

  8. Peter Wolf wrote: “I listened to Gov. Mapp when defend the order on Tucker Carlson. As stated, his position was that the order does not allow the seizure of guns from private individuals, but only for the National Guard to seize guns and ammo from businesses if it needs the guns or ammo to carry out their duties. And that businesses would be compensated for anything seized after the emergency.”

    Ok Peter Wolf. Would you like to give me the address of one business in all of the USVI that sells ammunition or guns? No, you wouldn’t like to as there are none. Know WTF you’re talking about before posting BS. And Mapp? He’s as corrupt as they come for the Virgin Islands, and I know the Virgin Islands. FLAME DELETED

  9. This is one of those things where I wonder if the guy even read what he was signing.

    Not that such a situation would be any less reprehensible but I could see it happening.

  10. What they do is governed by convention and precedent … until some ambitious gendarme decides to go looking for a way to stretch a law, to do what he’s already decided to do.

    They’d have a lot more credibility if their sneak and peak, data dragnet, and RICOH / prosecute the property gambits hadn’t been vigorously misused, well beyond what even the opponents argued at the time.

    Never under-estimate the creativity of a (non gender specific) Mrs. Grundy on a mission.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *