You know how they say it’s virtually impossible to kill any government program once it’s in place…because someone always benefits and it develops its own interested constituency? Yes, well it seems that the authority to confiscate firearms works pretty much the same way. At least it does in the territories of the US Virgin Islands.
You may remember that back in September, as Hurricane Irma was bearing down on the Caribbean, USVI Governor Kenneth Mapp declared a state of emergency and signed an order authorizing law enforcement agencies and the National Guard to confiscate residents’ firearms and ammuntion.
The order stated that,
The Adjutant General is authorized and directed to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material or any other property that may be required by the military forces for the performance of this emergency mission in accordance with the Rules of Force promulgated by the Virgin Island National Guard and approved by the Virgin Island Department of Justice.
Because who would possibly have cause to defend their life or property in the aftermath of a devastating natural disaster?
Anyway, Hurricanes Irma and Maria have long since come and gone (five people died and thousands lost their homes). But, as the Daily Caller is reporting, Governor Mapp has seen fit to extend the authorities’ right to confiscate Virgin Islanders’ weapons. Although he poo-poo’s the idea that it’s a gun grab.
Gov. Mapp told TheDC in a phone interview Thursday that the national guard “is not authorized to take arms and munitions from civilians,” and complained that he continues to receive “foolish” questions about this.
The Sept. 4 order, however, explicitly gives authorization to “seize” arms and ammunition.
Mapp said that this language is in “every declaration or activation of the national guard” that came before he took office. And added that it doesn’t allow Adjunct General Deborah Howell to “take weapons from civilians without proper compensation.”
Well, as long as he says so….
You can read the renewal of the order here. Whether or not any Virgin Islander’s guns have actually been taken, the authority to do so is still in force. And experience and common sense would tell you that any legal authority given the government — and plenty that isn’t — will, at some point, be exercised.
Or is that too tin foil hat of us?