Friday, September 30, 2005

NOLA Gun Games May Lead to Lawsuit

After NRA (et al) filed a Federal suit to enjoin New Orleans from confiscating any more guns (in fact, about 20 minutes into the hearing,) the judge granted the NRA a victory.

Here's more on the story, courtesy of John Lott:

In fact the defendant's position actually was that the gun confiscation statements were a hoax. Their intention was not to confiscate guns but to terrify and fool people into leaving their guns at home. Of course an "unintended" side effect of all their "no guns" statements was that police officers, believing that they were being told to confiscate guns, did so.

Hopefully this initial success will terminate in a permanent injunction, and lead to civil damage suits against the officers and their departments. . . . (This from Don Kates in an email to Lott)

Last night I heard that one of the reasons that the New Orleans police chief was fired this week was because of the gun confiscations that had occurred. Whether Nagin really had nothing to do with it is debatable, but at least it may indicate concern over future fall out (possibly the civil damages that Kates notes). (John Lott's comment.)

Lott may or may not be speculating about 'firing the Chief,' but it's irrelevant. A FreeRepublic thread on this topic produced an opinion from one of FR's members that the officers who actually DID confiscate guns could be Federally prosecuted. Seems that it's a violation of Federal law to deprive a citizen of their Constitutional rights "under color of law."

That provision is most often used to prosecute folks like Bull Connor, a well-known Democratic politician--but it certainly fits this event, as well.

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