The Second Amendment Foundation quickly took the offense against New Orleans Mayor Latoya Cantrell, warning her against “suspending or limiting the sale of firearms and ammunition under her recently proclaimed State of Emergency due to Covid-19.”
On March 11, Mayor Cantrell issued a proclamation that included this language: “Subject to the provisions of Act 275 of 2006 (Regular session), the Emergency Authority is hereby empowered, if necessary to suspend, or limit the sale, dispensing, or transporting of alcoholic beverages, firearms, explosives, and combustibles.”
In a subsequent proclamation, issued March 16, there was no mention of firearms, only a reference to transporting alcoholic beverages.
The newer document cancels all public and private gatherings in non-emergency situations where possible. It closes “bars, Health Clubs, Shopping Centers configured as malls (but not strip centers), Live Performance Venues, Reception Facilities, and other establishments where large gatherings routinely occur and/or where the risk of possible COVID-19 spread exists…”
It also says this: “Restaurants…shall limit their operations to take out and delivery only, including the sale of alcohol in accordance with City and State issued permits.”
There is no mention of firearms, explosives, and combustibles. Liberty Park Press has reached out to Mayor Cantrell’s office to determine whether the March 16 document supersedes or replaces the March 11 proclamation, and what, if anything, may have brought the change. According to The Hill, Louisiana has seen at least 114 cases of Coronavirus, along with three fatalities.
In his warning to Mayor Cantrell, SAF’s Gottlieb recalled, “Following Hurricane Katrina, we sued the city when then-Mayor Ray Nagin’s administration began confiscating firearms from law-abiding citizens for no good reason. The federal court ordered the city to cease confiscations.”
He then reminded the mayor, “We sued New Orleans then, and we’ll do it again.”
SAF and the National Rifle Association sued the city following Hurricane Katrina when the Ray Nagin administration started seizing firearms from law-abiding citizens who were stranded in their neighborhoods because of the disaster. The two rights organizations took the city to federal court and won an injunction. What happened in New Orleans brought about changes in state emergency powers laws around the country.
“While we certainly recognize the seriousness of this virus and its ability to spread rapidly,” Gottlieb stated, “treating Covid-19 and taking steps to prevent it from infecting more people has nothing at all to do with the exercise of the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.
“People legally licensed to carry should not have their right to do so suddenly curtailed because some politician panicked,” he said. “We didn’t allow it before, and we’re not going to allow it now.”
Many other jurisdictions have imposed emergency regulations in an effort to curtail the highly contagious virus.