BELLEVUE, WA – As officials in several hurricane-prone states this week are preaching self-reliance to the public in case a disaster strikes, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms (CCRKBA) reminds those officials that “such rhetoric is empty if the government moves to disarm citizens.”

“Don’t tell people to take care of themselves and then decide on a whim to take firearms away from those same people, leaving them defenseless,” said CCRKBA Executive Director Joe Waldron. “In the aftermath of a disaster, when there is a breakdown of services and anarchy takes over, citizens have to provide for their own safety. Hurricanes and other natural disasters do not wash away constitutional rights, or the natural right of self-preservation.”

Recalling the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, during which roving bands of police and other law enforcement officers, and squads of National Guard troopers disarmed citizens, sometimes at gunpoint, in and around New Orleans, Waldron cautioned public officials about repeating that egregious civil rights affront this year, anywhere a storm hits.

“Natural disasters do not give mayors or police chiefs the authority to trample state or federal Constitutions,” Waldron observed. “Warrantless seizures of private property, specifically firearms, with no probable cause or a shred of evidence that any crime has been committed, must never happen again, anywhere in the United States. In situations where personal safety may depend on the presence of a firearm, it is preposterous for any public official to tell people to be prepared, and not include advice on securing a defensive firearm and ammunition, and the skills to use it if necessary.

“Presumably,” Waldron said, “last year’s restraining order against officials in the New Orleans area that stopped the gun confiscations there was an object lesson to every other public official in the hurricane region. It’s easier to be self-reliant when you are prepared for self-defense.”