So it seems that Glenn Reynolds noticed my first post about FEMA’s command-and-control-oriented
relief project in Greensburg, Kansas. In particular, he noticed this bit from Dave Strano’s report about possible gun-grabbing by the federalis and the local police working under their direction:
In the immediate recovery after the storm, FEMA and local police not only worked to find survivors and the dead, but also any firearms in the city. As you pass by houses in Greensburg, you notice that some are spraypainted with how many weapons were recovered from the home. This is central Kansas, a region with extremely high legal gun ownership. Of the over 350 firearms confiscated by police immediately after the storm, only a third have been returned to their owners. FEMA and the police have systematically disarmed the local population, leaving the firepower squarely in control of the state.
Reynolds wanted to make sure that FEMA and the forces at their disposal know that any sort of post-disaster gun-grabbing would be a violation of U.S. federal law under the Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act passed in 2006. Now, the good news is that, although other developments in Greensburg were a lot less benign, it seems that here at least things were quite not as bad as it seemed at first; at least, the cops claim that they mostly returned the guns they collected as soon as the rightful owners came to claim them. But it’s risky to put too much faith in the cops’ willingness to return weapons to rightful claimants when they are surrounding the city with roadblocks and using the
opportunity to turn everything they find over to the scrutiny of the BATF and other authorities. And the effects of disarmament remain as long as police don’t make active efforts to return guns to their rightful owners, whatever the cops’ intent may have been. Any way you slice it, it sounds like a pretty bad situation from the standpoint of gun rights.
Maybe we should make sure that there’s never any danger of FEMA or other government agencies seizing guns when natural disasters strike in the future. In light of the danger of government agents ignoring federal law, shouldn’t the gun rights community demand a Disaster Recovery Personal Protection Act Protection Act in 2007?
You know, just to be sure.