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September 18, 2005

Hurricane Katrina and the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878

They said it couldn't happen here. Not in America. They would never come for our guns. Well guess what. It happened. The U.S. Army went door-to-door, illegally confiscating firearms.

But it did happen. It happened in New Orleans.

"No one will be able to be armed. We are going to take all the weapons." - Deputy Police Chief Warren Riley

Here's a video of the outrageous violations of our constitutional rights.

What was illegal about it? Well, it's hard to know where to start. First of all, the U.S. Army should not be used to police the United States. This idea was behind the Posse Comitatus Act of 1878.

These were U.S. citizens, guaranteed the right to keep and bear arms by the 2nd amendment to the constiution. So what gave the U.S. Army the the right to occupy Louisiana? How did they inherit the right to confiscate the firearms?

I'm not clear that martial law was declared, as the Louisiana Constitution does not appear to recognize martial law. What gave them the right to confiscate firearms and how did they circumvent the posse comitatus?

I'm not saying New Orleans wasn't in a bad predicament, it was. Like many people, I was disappointed by the slow response at all levels, including the city, parish, state, and federal.

However, now that it's all settled, I think it's reasonable to ask if the law was violated. Was martial law declard? What are our safeguards against future violations of the posse comitatus? Against future disarmament campaigns?

Update: Michelle Malkin is covering this.

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Posted by Peenie Wallie on September 18, 2005 at 12:17 PM