Virgin Island Gov. Signs Confiscation Order Ahead of Hurricane Irma

Hurricane Irma has been upgraded to a category 5 storm.

The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands signed an order Monday instructing law enforcement personnel to confiscate firearms and ammunition from residents before the arrival of Hurricane Irma, a Category 5 tempest.

Under the order, Gov. Kenneth Mapp activated the National Guard and gave authorities the green light to “restore public order, and to guarantee the safety of life and property.”

That also includes the seizure of “arms ammunition, explosives, incendiary material, and any other property that may be required by the military forces for the performance of this emergency mission,” as approved by the territory’s Department of Justice, The Hill Reports.

Confiscation by the state during a time of crisis should sound familiar. In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin issued a similar decree calling on police to round up guns from law-abiding folk.

However, this extra-constitutional abuse of power by the government did not go unchecked.  The National Rifle Association stepped in, filed a lawsuit, and won.  The immediate result of this effort was a cessation of confiscation in The Big Easy, and down the road it led to a federal bill, signed into law by President George W. Bush in 2006, prohibiting the seizure of firearms during states of emergency.

SEE ALSO: KORWIN: The Police-Would-Never-Confiscate-Guns Myth

A screen shot of the order, courtesy of The Daily Caller.

To that end, the NRA promised Tuesday to fight Gov. Mapp on this front just as it did Gov. Nagin during Katrina.

“People need the ability to protect themselves during times of natural disaster,” said Chris W. Cox, executive director, NRA-ILA, in a press release. “This dangerous order violates the constitutional rights of law-abiding citizens and puts their lives at risk.”

“When 911 is non-existent and law enforcement personnel are overwhelmed with search-and-rescue missions and other emergency duties, law-abiding American citizens must be able to protect their families and loved ones. The NRA is prepared to pursue legal action to halt Gov. Mapp’s dangerous and unconstitutional order,” continued Cox.

The number one reason people own firearms is for self-defense. Stripping that right away from citizens when they are the most vulnerable is not only unconstitutional, it’s downright diabolical.

Sept. 8, 2017. Edit to add: The video below sheds some more light on the order and the seizure of firearms from citizens.  Apparently, by “seize” firearms, ammo, etc. the good governor did not mean confiscate, rather he meant authorities can purchase whatever munitions they need from retail outlets.  Hmmm.  Interesting choice of words.  Looking at the definitions of the word “seize,” I didn’t see the governor’s interpretation listed:

“Seize” via Dictionary.com

verb (used with object), seized, seizing.
1. to take hold of suddenly or forcibly; grasp:
to seize a weapon.
2. to grasp mentally; understand clearly and completely:
to seize an idea.
3. to take possession of by force or at will:
to seize enemy ships.
4. to take possession or control of as if by suddenly laying hold:
Panic seized the crowd.
5. to take possession of by legal authority; confiscate:
to seize smuggled goods.
6. Also, seise. Law. to put (someone) in seizin or legal possession of property (usually used in passive constructions):
She was seized of vast estates.
7. to capture; take into custody.

{ 79 comments… add one }
  • Peter September 8, 2017, 9:26 pm

    Okay, your highness…we’ll “seize” firearms and ammunition if we need them. YOU lead the charge and be the first at the doors.

    • Frank Pope September 8, 2017, 10:50 pm

      Unless the Governor invoked Martial Law (and I doubt he had the stones for that) before his order, it is unconstitutional and unenforceable. Unless someone takes these power abusers to task, they will continue to Obama their way over everyone in their path.

    • Danny Mitchell September 9, 2017, 5:03 pm

      Come and take it!!!

    • derfallbright September 9, 2017, 10:58 pm

      Unless the Governor of the VI is an outright liar what he said that he meant by his order was the the Police forces were authorized to go directly to a gun store and buy (or confiscate (and pay full market price later) if the owner could not be found in the middle of a hurricane those weapons necessary to maintain public safety. The example he used was a Police station being flooded or destroyed in the hurricane. Normally the Police are required to go through multiple approval levels and get competitive bids. His order was a waver to that process an they have been following that same process for years, he denies it in any way this applied to the taking of private guns.

      • S Knop September 10, 2017, 4:02 pm

        The phrase would then be: “procure through normal channels and/or by any means necessary…“ English has many words and phrases that can serve to clarify one’s meaning.

  • JMTaylor September 8, 2017, 8:31 pm

    BOHICA!!!!!!!!!!
    How stupid we all are???? Everyone arguing about “Can they” “Can’t they” “Right’ “Ain’t Right” Blah Blah – – – – —
    Does anyone know the LAW?
    42 U.S. Code 5207
    look it up, print it out and hand it to the guy, Sir, what you are doing is a Federal felony under this code and I will prosecute YOU individually.
    That is all, Out Here.

    • Rotaman September 8, 2017, 10:31 pm

      Perfect JM!

    • Larry Kelley Jr. September 9, 2017, 10:35 am

      But in dire straits you know the police our government are the type to do what ever the hell they want. Until then you have just got screwed and have to wait your turn in court to have them return your property

    • solvermn September 10, 2017, 8:25 am

      JM Taylor
      It is good you referenced the law but please tell us what it says.

  • Adam Jeppson September 8, 2017, 7:32 pm

    Bullets first.

  • elgavilansegoviano September 8, 2017, 7:28 pm

    ….Boycott the Islands, and don’t send them jack!!,….

  • elgavilansegoviano September 8, 2017, 7:25 pm

    ……First of all Boycott the US Virgin Islands, today, tomorrow, and in the future, secondly, I will NOT give them one penny for Nothing!!…….End of story!!,….

    • Larry Kelley Jr. September 9, 2017, 10:37 am

      You may not give them money directly but the city’s and states can pass a bill to where paying more taxes or a direct tax can go directly to them

  • Rj September 8, 2017, 5:18 pm

    Look, if you\’re out acting like a f****** idiot with your gun yes they\’re going to take your gun if you stay home while the s*** is hitting the fan they\’re not going to come take your f****** gun is that simple

    • D. September 9, 2017, 1:41 pm

      Not to disagree on your overall point but what happens if a family needs to evacuate the safety of their home? If the NG is out conducting security as well as rescue operations the likelihood of coming in direct contact with them is probably pretty good. Do you think this order allows them to confiscate the weapons and ammo, in my case, my wife, adult son and daughter will have on us to protect our movement, money and provisions we’ve decided are necessary? Yes, staying in the home is ideal but fire, flooding, structure damage…may prevent that.

  • FirstStateMark September 8, 2017, 4:02 pm

    Anyone who watched Tucker Carlson on Fox News, which he reported on this two nights in a row, would know that this is FAKE NEWS. I can’t believe GunsAmerica reported on this. SMH

    • mesaman11 September 8, 2017, 5:02 pm

      Incorrect. Even left leaning Snopes confirms this as true.

    • JB September 9, 2017, 5:45 pm

      I did watch it, and Carlson proved just the opposite: the governor was squirming like a worm on a hook, trying to claim his order did not mean what it said, but Carlson never let him go. None of what the governor claims it meant was anywhere to be found in the order. Caught red-handed.

      No offense to actual worms is intended by the comparison.

  • Patrick McWilliams September 8, 2017, 2:02 pm

    As I read it, the Guard is authorized to take guns, ammunition and property needed to respond to the storm. Is the Guard presently without arms and munitions, so that it must “borrow” these from the civilian population?

  • MJB September 8, 2017, 1:55 pm

    What sense does this make? Why take away firearms when you are the most vulnerable? Only a stupid politician would use this logic.

  • William M Durham September 8, 2017, 1:35 pm

    If NRA and other gun groups let him get away with this they are truty worthless. If he can do it and get away with it, any Governor can, and will try.

    • Rivahmitch September 8, 2017, 2:19 pm

      Due respect… if the citizens let him get away with it, they’re worthless and deserve what they get. Semper Fi!!

      • John Rutledge September 9, 2017, 1:39 am

        Finally someone else gets it. Citizens need to stop relying on government/groups and stand up for ourselves.

  • Abner T September 8, 2017, 1:27 pm

    One more case of “Can’t seem to find it right now. You’re welcome to come in and search the entire premises. Oh, and sign this assumption of personal liability form for any and all damages.”…

  • Archangel September 8, 2017, 1:18 pm

    Everything is destroyed, people are devastated, then the men in blue (or camo) come and take your only tool used for protection?
    One of these days, the only shooting will be the people defending their right to defend themselves against those who are expected to help protect us!
    I have known people both in the military and in various PD’s who were the worst of criminals, and it taints those who are good because they need to defend and support each other.

  • Grant Stevens September 8, 2017, 12:21 pm

    Another unconstitutional order that should be defied by every American citizen on the island. Until the Second Amendment is repealed, “shall not be infringed” stands. All laws, executive orders, court rulings, bureaucratic regulations and treaties to the contrary are null and void. Politicians and bureaucrats are employed by we the people to support and defend the Constitution, not violate and rewrite it. This “governor” and his henchmen should be thrown in jail for violating their oaths of office.

  • LHS September 8, 2017, 11:50 am

    Government can and should be good, but when it’s big it’s generally bad. In this case, it’s small and bad. Power is a very dangerous thing. It brings the worst and corrupts the best.

  • IPDAILY September 8, 2017, 11:47 am

    This is not what one would believe is a good thing. My suggestion to those gun owners on the US Virgin Islands is to hide your firearms and ammo safely away, from these domestic thugs. Until the all clear is given. You will never see your firearm again if they are confiscated.
    People take a lesson from those in New Orleans that had their weapons confiscated. They are suing the state for the return of their property. While those that did receive their confiscated firearms from the Police, were stored in water filled drums and rusted beyond repair.

  • Charles Trice September 8, 2017, 11:29 am

    Is it not legal to resist an unconstitutional arrest or confiscation?

    • Qhorse13 September 8, 2017, 2:43 pm

      Let em TRY to take mine. I’m sure I will be killed. But I won’t go down without a FIGHT. no constitutional nor moral reason to take my defensive weapons. And I will die defending my rights.

      • Charles Troupe September 8, 2017, 5:01 pm

        Anyone … and I mean ANYONE … no matter the uniform, no matter the badge … attempting to obey that governor’s unconstitutional and illegal order, should be shot to death like any other commom thug … because THAT is exactly what they are! “Just doing my job” and “protecting my pension” is no different than the Nazis using “I was just a soldier following orders.” Good police and good sheriff deputies and good National Guardsmen would (and should) REFUSE to obey that order and any other orders like it. And that is my 1st amendment opinion … which I am more than willing to protect by exercising my 2nd amendment right to keep and bear (possess and carry) arms (guns)!

  • Greg H. September 8, 2017, 10:54 am

    Good luck on getting your guns back from the police once the storm is over, especially if you live in some liberal-infested sewer.

  • Bob September 8, 2017, 10:49 am

    Those citizens ought to chase Governor Mapp down with torches and pitchforks, and string him up in front of the governor’s mansion.

  • Jonathan D Olenick September 8, 2017, 10:44 am

    See H.R. 5441 sec 557, prohibiting gun confiscation. Jon

    • Bruce Auburn September 8, 2017, 12:33 pm

      Well, that won’t work, he’s surrounded by armed guards!

  • Robert September 8, 2017, 10:21 am

    Well, that will leave the honest citizens defenseless, and the criminals to do anything they want, If you think the criminals are going to give up there guns then they are living in a dream world ,

    • Charles Troupe September 8, 2017, 5:06 pm

      Leaving citizens who believe in and love our constitution defenseless victims of criminals is the ONLY reason the leftist/liberal politicians WANT to disarm people. NOBODY is more in favor of gun control laws, and confiscation orders than the criminals! These haters of America, and haters of our liberties are the true enemies of the people of the United States. They should all be arrested and shot.

  • Self September 8, 2017, 10:18 am

    So where does the MAYOR live? Pay him and HIS FAMILY a visit. Turn-about is fair play.

    • Adam Jeppson September 8, 2017, 7:38 pm

      The mayor will be easy to locate. Look for the house surrounded by by people brandishing firearms.

      One citizen? Brushed aside.
      Ten citizens? Shot for “legal reasons”.
      One hundred citizens? Fire fight.
      One thousand citizens? Mayor will soil his drawers as will the guards. No confiscation.
      Simple economics.

  • Jonathan D Olenick September 8, 2017, 10:08 am

    PLEASE POST THAT LAW OR ITS NAME OR NUMBER SO THAT WE CAN COPY AND FILE IT. THANK YOU, JON

  • joefoam September 8, 2017, 8:13 am

    With claims of both real news and fake news, one has to ask “how do I find out the truth on this topic” and for that matter on any other subject. Who can you trust to give the real story on anything?

  • John September 8, 2017, 7:52 am

    Mayor Nagin. Not Gov.Nagin. Blanco was Gov.

    • DACA is CACA September 8, 2017, 11:50 am

      Pfft… Nagin. Another shining Lib who proclaimed he was a savior to the people while stealing from them behind their backs. Only he was too stupid to cover his tracks. Enjoying your jail cell, Ray?

  • rida1200@yahoo.com September 8, 2017, 7:34 am

    The U.S. Virgin Islands are subject to federal law same as the rest of us. Assuming the one signed by Bush in 2006 still stands, Jeff Sessions needs to immediately declare that order null, void, illegal and unenforceable. After the hurricane emergency is over he should pursue legal action to the fullest extent of the law against Gov. Mapp including criminal penalties for blatant violation of federal law not to mention the Constitution.

    • Rick September 8, 2017, 9:05 am

      Absofreakinloutly ! Afterwards grab that jerk and prosecute “With Extreme Prejudice” remove him from office !

    • LHS September 8, 2017, 12:00 pm

      Yes, and Mayor Nagan ended up in prison, but for many other reasons than just gun confiscation.

  • Jim Bob September 8, 2017, 7:27 am

    Two things:
    1) When commenting on a site such as this, don’t say “Here where I live…”. You are nothing but words on a screen, how are others supposed to know where “here” is, moron?
    2) Now that the people of the Virgin Islands know what kind of corrupt dictator there governor is, what are they going to do about it now?

    • JustMe September 8, 2017, 9:23 am

      Slow down keyboard warrior! Was it really necessary to call the fella a moron. Educate him in a structured way and he’s more likely to prosper. They quick to hate b.s. you reverted to gives gun owners and pro 2A people a bad image.

    • Joseph Burke September 8, 2017, 10:10 am

      Hey Jim Bob, “there governor” is actually spelled “their” governor. I mean before you start calling people morons…

    • billy flatfoot September 8, 2017, 10:21 am

      When correcting someone and especially calling them a moron, at least learn how to spell! The correction is
      “their Governor is.”—–not “there governor is,”

  • Dan Forbey September 8, 2017, 7:17 am

    Seizure of any material “required” is what the order says. Not just guns. The VIANG could come looking for your plywood and bonbons, if they need some.

  • roger September 8, 2017, 6:58 am

    Laws of VI. A license is required to purchase any firearm or ammunition. All firearms must be registered with the Virgin Islands Police Department. The territory currently has a “may issue” policy for concealed carry permits. To obtain one, the applicant must meet a stringent set of requirements, so few people receive permits. Assault weapons and .50 BMG rifles prohibited.
    ACCORDING TO SNOOPS THE GOVE ORDERED CONFISCATION. http://www.snopes.com/virgin-islands-order-seizure-weapons-irma/

    • ron September 8, 2017, 11:56 am

      snopes is not a good reference for ANYTHING. It is widely disrespected as a “factchecker.” It is nothing but a little liberal shop in Northern kalifornia run by some weird people. They even admit that aren’t really factcheckers. Research them sometime.
      And, FWIW, the VI governor said he did not order gun confiscation. The order was a somewhat poorly worded and actually gave the national guard there authority to go purchase guns and other stuff without having to go through the usual, tedious acquisition process. I must say, during the the interview I listened to, the governor sure was not very clear about what he exactly had done, but he made it clear that he was not authorized to confiscate guns from private citizens, and he did not order that.

      • Charles Troupe September 8, 2017, 5:11 pm

        If the VI governor is a liberal what he said about not confiscating guns and ammunition from citizens cannot be trusted.

    • Elkcrazy308 September 8, 2017, 8:39 pm

      In this day and age. I can’t understand why anyone with any amount of intelligence continues to use the term ” Assault Weapons” when referring a certain type of firearm. Truthfully a baseball bat, 2×4, even a rolled-up newspaper can become a assault weapon.
      Food for thought.

  • Jesse Scott September 8, 2017, 6:28 am

    Levelling the field so that everyone is now equal prey to muggers, looters, and rapists.

  • Kelby September 8, 2017, 4:47 am
    • Gary September 8, 2017, 8:33 am

      OK… glad that you were able to find corroborating info. This article is so lacking in source material that I was ready to throw the B.S. flag…

  • darryl September 8, 2017, 4:34 am

    because of what happen during Katrina here where i live our governor signed into law that does not allow the cops apr anone else to try and take our guns during any kind of state emergence so at least here we may not and i say may not have this problem because as in life anything can happen. i do know that people here will in no way be giving up their guns if because of bad weather or so other emergence if cops come banging on doors and try and take them.

    the whole problem with the cops the way they are now is because of the way they have been turned into a military type force instead of the beat cop they use to be. the purchase of military vehicles and other military items they have purchased. the main thing of these purchases is that the cops HAVE to use said items at some point within a year of purchase or they have to return them. so what is it you think the cops are going to do with the military items once they get them? correct, they’re going to find, make up some reason to use these things so they don’t have to give them back. there isn’t anything i liked about Obama but he did put a stop to this making our police force in a military force but i just read the other day that President Trump over turned this and it’s game on again with dumping all the extra military arms and other things back to that cops again. can’t say i go along with this. maybe i’m wrong.

    • Jim Bob September 8, 2017, 7:21 am

      Dude, you not only cannot write coherently but your facts are wrong and you are being a hysterical woman. Confiscation by police is WRONG but there’s no law saying they have to use newly purchased military equipment within one year or they have to “give it back”. To whom? Don’t be spreading such untruthful stupidity.

    • Dan Forbey September 8, 2017, 7:25 am

      Yep, you’re wrong. When was the last time you saw a cop with a belt-fed weapon? Community policing has done nothing but grow stronger and more prevalent in the twenty years that I’ve been in the business. Just because some agencies get MRAPs to run high-risk raids is no indication that department has become “militarized” . Look at the gear cops carried in the 1930s if you want to see militarized law enforcement. Most chiefs are still terrified of patrol rifles thanks to the propaganda benched by left-wing hoplophobes.

    • Rick September 8, 2017, 9:09 am

      You are !

    • Doug September 8, 2017, 11:54 am

      When was the last time you saw a “beat cop ” driving a military vehicle. We have 2700 cops on my department, most of them are beat cops, and they ALL drive Tahoes, Impalas, and Caprices. Every last one of them. They all carry Glock semi auto pistols, except that about 140 of them have semi automatic patrol rifles in the trunk. A bunch of the bad guys that these beat cops deal with have military weapons though. AK47’s, assault rifles, automatic weapons, I have even seen grenades. Our SWAT team has a couple of armored vehicles they use to protect themselves during armed barricade situations while they spend hours talking all nice the bad guy so they can avoid hurting or killing him. I served 22 years in the military as an Infantry soldier, and my department is NOTHING like the military. As a career Police Officer, and a die hard believer in the US Constitution and the rights it provides, I am extremely insulted by your comment about “the problem with police today ” Maybe you missed all the riots and Police assassinations throughout the country lately? The PROBLEM is that all the idiot bleeding heart liberals and the criminals are running around trying to disarm and cripple the Police.

  • Steve September 8, 2017, 3:49 am

    Alright well you’re clearly an idiot because if you pick your head out of the sand this isnt the first time this crap happens and it wont be the last.

    http://www.snopes.com/virgin-islands-order-seizure-weapons-irma/

    I live in california and own firearms to protect myself if a situation like this were ever to strike. The fact that they claim the military needs it to “do their jobs” is laughable and insulting. They’ve got WAY more capability/assets at their disposal than I EVER will to go and help those in need. I’ll have just enough to protect me and my fam and my neighbors. The very fact I own firearms allows me to protect myself if raided and protect whatever assets I may have. Yes, there will be looters and crazies because there are people out there that simply suck. BUT ITS EXACTLY WHY THE CONSTIMUTHERF***INGTUTION gave me the right to protect myself. Instead, they’d rather take what little protections we have and if help cant come to us or the looters get to us first, essentially they’ve left us for dead or at the very least, extremely vulnerable. Instead of worrying about the 5 people of of thousands who will go loot, you need to redirect your efforts to the people who cant protect themselves or are in need of emergency assistance and allow us to handle our own safety when capable because elearly, the national guard will have their hands full.

  • john dawson September 6, 2017, 12:48 pm

    I live Here in VI… No such order to seize guns was ordered, this is fake news for idiots….

    • BUURGA September 8, 2017, 2:54 am

      This has been reported by half a dozen news agencies.

    • Dustin Eward September 8, 2017, 3:08 am

      Then why was Mapp on Tucker’s Show trying to walk it back and convince us that it didn’t say exactly what it says in plain English?

      If it never happened, why was he defending it and trying to play word games to change it’s meaning? It doesn’t exist, so how…

      • jim September 8, 2017, 12:54 pm

        The order DOES NOT APPLY TO RESIDENTS. It has been repeatedly stated that it only applies to manufacturers and retail outlets where large supplies of specific items that may be needed by the NG could be accessed.

    • Christopher Glenn September 8, 2017, 4:10 am

      So they have not taken your firearms because they’re too busy? Or is the order from your governor is fake?

    • GEORGE M HOUCHENS September 8, 2017, 4:53 am

      I read about it on 3 different, unrelated news sources. And the NRA doesn’t usually comment before they check out the facts.

    • Richard September 8, 2017, 7:05 am

      Why don’t you research before you comment. It was reported on several real news sources. See snopes.com as well.

      • tgun September 8, 2017, 12:00 pm

        snopes.com is not real!

    • Mike September 8, 2017, 7:36 am

      Why would you say “fake news for idiots”?
      You obviously don’t read much….

    • Fred Fagan September 8, 2017, 7:55 am

      The man is correct. No such illegal order was ever given. The gov just gave the guard permission to go sole source to procure (buy) whatever they needed to complete their mission. Heard the gov emphasize that on an interview the other evening.

      • Bjensen September 8, 2017, 11:12 am

        The man is NOT correct, the Gov after being threatened with legal action walked back his comments and tried to cover his tracks by saying the Guard was given permission to buy what they needed to complete there mission (BS) Guard units don’t go out and buy things.

      • Charles Troupe September 8, 2017, 5:20 pm

        Ahh! You heard your governor deny it. I guess that settles it. That sounds very much like Mr. Obama telling everyone, “…you can keep your doctor…” And, “…I do not have the authority to stop deportations…” And remember Mr. Clinton when he said under oath, “…I did not have sex with that woman…” Turns out he wasn’t talking about Hillary after all.

    • Rick September 8, 2017, 9:14 am

      But “snopes.com” said it was true
      and you know those two liberals
      wouldn’t lie ! (Heavy Sarcasm)

      • Clayton September 8, 2017, 11:20 am

        You forgot to mention their Cat too!

      • jim September 8, 2017, 1:18 pm

        FOR GOD’S SAKE, DON’T YOU FOLKS KNOW HOW TO READ???. Read the Order, NOT WHAT THE DAILY CALLER SUMMARIZES!!! The order DOES NOT allow confiscation of citizen’s property. It DOES allow procurement of quantities of ammunition, explosives, etc. for use by the NG if needed to carry out their assignment. The Governor is not “walking back” anything. There are provisions which supercede the order given by the Governor, and which protect the rights of citizens.

        Example: Police in the U.S. are allowed to carry firearms, and use them in the event there is a threat of death or significant physical harm to a person. THAT DOES NOT MEAN POLICE CAN EXECUTE CITIZENS, and we all know that.

        What happened during Katrina was against the law. There are no legal grounds in the U.S. to disarm the public, unless it comes in the form of a signed Presidential Order authorizing such during the time of a national emergency. Just so you don’t think I am a lib, I live in NV, and open carry everywhere I go, except to the PO, and other government properties. The problem on this issue, on this forum, is that people are either not reading the order, or think what the Daily Caller is summarizing is part of the Order, and it is not.

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