Seized: With Hurricane Irma Bearing Down, US Virgin Islands Starts Confiscating Guns From Residents

Matt Vespa
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Posted: Sep 06, 2017 4:00 PM
Seized: With Hurricane Irma Bearing Down, US Virgin Islands Starts Confiscating Guns From Residents

Hurricane Harvey has passed, but as communities along the Gulf of Mexico recover, there’s another storm heading into the area. Blessedly, it’s not projected to strike the Houston-area, but Hurricane Irma, which was upgraded to a category five storm, is projected to wreak havoc along the US Virgin Islands, Puerto Rico, and the Dominican Republican before slamming into Florida. It will then proceed up the east coast. As islanders and Floridians alike prepare for the worst, the U.S. Virgin Islands are also enforcing another measure, and it’s not making sure all windows are boarded up; they’re confiscating its residents’ firearms. The National Rifle Association is considering filing a lawsuit against the island. The Daily Caller also obtained a copy of the seizure order (via Fox News):

The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands has ordered its national guard to seize guns, ammunition and other weapons from its citizens as the territory prepares for Hurricane Irma to make landfall.

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The National Rifle Association announced its “strong opposition” to Mapp’s order in a press release Tuesday.

“People need the ability to protect themselves during times of natural disaster,” Chris W. Cox, executive director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action said. “This dangerous order violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and puts their lives at risk.”

In 2005, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin signed a similar order allowing seizure of guns, assault rifles and other weapons, ahead of a forced evacuation from those still living in areas affected by Hurricane Katrina.

The NRA filed a lawsuit after Katrina claiming New Orleans violated gun owners’ constitutional right to bear arms and left them “at the mercy of roving gangs, home invaders, and other criminals” after the hurricane.

Congress later passed the 2006 Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act, which was meant to prohibit future confiscation of weapons during an emergency.