Virgin Islands Governor Orders Gun Seizures in Advance of Hurricane Irma

A monster is coming. The government’s plan of action includes seizing guns. (National Hurricane Center/Twitter)

*SEE UPDATES AT END OF COLUMN*

“U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp signed an emergency order allowing the seizure of private guns, ammunition, explosives and property the National Guard may need to respond to Hurricane Irma,” Michael Bastasch reported Tuesday at The Daily Caller.  “The order allows the Adjutant General of the Virgin Islands to seize private property they believe necessary to protect the islands, subject to approval by the territory’s Justice Department.”

“The Adjutant General is authorized and directed to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material and any other property that may be required by the military forces for the performance of this emergency mission, in accordance with the Rules of Force promulgated by the Virgin Islands National Guard and approved by the Virgin Islands Department of Justice,” Mapp declared in his order issued Monday.

This is a setup for the unconstitutional seizure of Hurricane Katrina all over again. Presumably, if a citizen defies the guard, the escalation of force up to and including lethal will be authorized and “legal.”

“More than 4 million U.S. citizens and nationals live in insular areas under the jurisdiction of the United States. The Territorial Clause of the Constitution authorizes the Congress to “make all needful Rules and Regulations respecting the Territory or other Property” of the United States,” a 1997 U.S. General Accounting Office report to Congress acknowledged.

“People born in Puerto Rico, Guam, the CNMI, or the Virgin Islands are American citizens,” the report noted. “The residents of all five of the larger insular areas enjoy many of the rights enjoyed by U.S. citizens in the 50 states. But some rights which, under the Constitution, are reserved for citizens residing in the states have not been extended to residents of the insular areas.”

As for the right that “shall not be infringed”?

Licensing and registration ensure they’ll know just where to look for their seizures.

Portrait of Governor Mapp

As for Governor Mapp, he was an NYPD “Only One” before moving his career to the Virgin Islands. He has taken the oath to the Constitution throughout that career, advancing through the Virgin Islands legislature to the governorship.

It’s fair to wonder about  the competency of an administration of an island in the Caribbean that is so unprepared to experience a hurricane it needs to seize firearms from citizens in order to equip its troops. It’s also fair to wonder about the character of those who would strong-arm that citizenry into defenselessness at the very time they will need protection the most, and at a time when the “authorities” will have their hands more than full and vast areas will be left on their own for an indeterminate period.

You also have to wonder about the level of Constitutional understanding and fidelity of those who would obey such orders, and the character of those who disparage Oath Keepers for refusing to obey them.

If you’re on social media, you can express your opinion to them on Twitter and Facebook.

And it would also be appropriate to pray for the people in the path of Irma, that they survive both the storm and the unconscionable additional risk imposed by their government.

UPDATE:

So having this codified in law as standard operating procedure is somehow better? The bottom line is, though they say there is “no effort,” they believe they have the authority. [Link]

UPDATE (A remembrance of a previous time):

“In a wave of lawlessness that spread across the island, eyewitnesses reported looting by men and women, children and the elderly, even police and National Guardsmen. Armed gangs were reported roaming the streets. Ham radio operators said between 300 and 500 inmates had broken out of a hurricane-damaged prison and were loose in the city.”

What better time to have laws in place that authorize disarming the people who obeyed them and registered their guns?

UPDATE: Repeal of Virgin Islands Gun Seizure Law a Needed Part of Recovery Efforts

—–

If you believe in the mission of Oath Keepers, to defend the Constitution against all enemies, foreign and domestic, please consider making a donation to support our work.  You can donate HERE.

—–

David Codrea’s opinions are his own. See “Who speaks for Oath Keepers?”

About Author

David Codrea

David Codrea blogs at The War on Guns: Notes from the Resistance (WarOnGuns.com), and is a field editor/columnist for GUNS Magazine. Named “Journalist of the Year” in 2011 by the Second Amendment Foundation for his groundbreaking work on the “Fast and Furious” ATF “gunwalking” scandal, he is a frequent event speaker and guest on national radio and television programs.

Comments

  1. Woody W Woodward 5 September, 2017, 12:48

    The rights of “citizens” last only as long as government finds it convenient to recognise them. It’ll be interesting to see how long it takes, after Irma blows through, for the “free” people of the Virgin Isles to recover their personal property. I’d be willing to put my money on “forever”.
    [W3]

    Reply this comment
    • Vinny 5 September, 2017, 13:09

      If these citizens, or citizens ANYWHERE have their firearms are confiscated, under ANY pretense, they will NEVER be returned. The government will tie it up in court forever. This cancerous Globalist Communist agenda has been a top level agenda, in particular since Barack Soetoro Sobarkah was elected. This relentless onslaught will continue, and will eventually draw us into a civil war if the Progressive, Globalist Communists continue to advance their agenda.

      Reply this comment
      • emee 5 September, 2017, 15:43

        it is criminal… it might be the Virgin… Islands but there is nothing “Virgin” about this evil decision…it is a corrupt governmental RAPE AND I HOPE THE PEOPLE DONT SURRENDER OR PERMIT THEIR ARMS…TO BE STOLEN BY THESE PERPS…

        Reply this comment
      • Rick 5 September, 2017, 21:02
    • Don 5 September, 2017, 13:57

      Woody, you hit the nail on the head “forever” if at all. They’ll probably want proof of purchase receipt, and if you don’t have the receipt no return of your firearms.

      Reply this comment
    • Rich 5 September, 2017, 16:27

      This article suggests that, “People born in Puerto Rico, Guam, the CNMI, or the Virgin Islands are American citizens,” : They are not American citizens as are citizens of any of the 50 states of the Union. They are U.S. citizens; that U.S. is the federal zone, D.C. over which Congress has sole “exclusive legislative authority”, an entirely different authority than they have in the Union. Not every protection of the Bill of Rights exists for them as it does for the nation. When and IF the Virgin Islands gets a star on the American flag and becomes a “state”, THEN they will be American citizens.

      Reply this comment
  2. Frank 5 September, 2017, 12:55

    The last time a hurricane hit USVI, the National Guard units participated in the looting.

    Reply this comment
  3. Rev. Heart 5 September, 2017, 12:56

    These actions are unconscionable and illegal. A citizen needs to protect themselves and their loved ones in times such as these when lawlessness may prevail and as mentioned in the article the police and other service personnel will be too busy to help or respond in a timely manner. This leaves the citizen at the mercy of criminals that will certainly NOT turn in their guns!

    Reply this comment
    • Rod 5 September, 2017, 17:51

      I’ll bet that criminals and special elitists will not have any registered firearms, etc. and of course these will not be confiscated. These people are citizens of the United States in name only because they do not have the rights of citizens.

      Reply this comment
  4. Washington 5 September, 2017, 12:56

    It’s an illegal order, he’s committing a crime and anyone who follows that order is a criminal and an enemy of the United States and it’s people. No one has to surrender their arms, they must refuse and if criminals illegally enter their property and attempt to steal their belongings they should act with the full power available to them as United States citizens of the republic.

    Reply this comment
  5. wep 5 September, 2017, 13:08

    so now only the bona fide criminals will have guns.
    The real criminal is Mapp the governor. I bet he’ll have one (or a few thugs) to protect himself.
    What a dolt.

    Reply this comment
  6. ANTICRIME 5 September, 2017, 13:11

    GOOD REASON to stay the Hell OUT of the Virgin Islands!!!

    Reply this comment
  7. WT 5 September, 2017, 13:18

    If you’re an American and choose to live under that Government’s laws… without any suggestion of any Second Amendment protection…. then suck it up buttercup. Now go to your gun cabinet and kiss your guns goodbye… ’cause you’ll never see them again.

    Reply this comment
  8. dan 5 September, 2017, 13:30

    Taking of Private Property by the government is ..NOT GOOD……BUT at least the officials in charge OBEY their written Constitution…OURS DO NOT…..they trash it and disrespect it at ALL times..even when they say they are following it..THEY LIE…those officials mentioned in the article ARE obeying their Constitution.( even if it is mis- written)….

    Reply this comment
  9. 4thHorsemanoftheConfederacy 5 September, 2017, 14:05
    • Vinny 6 September, 2017, 09:31

      4thHorseman……the one word you posted is the ONLY possible position……RESIST with extreme prejudice…..period !

      Reply this comment
  10. Tim 5 September, 2017, 14:31

    U.S. Code › Title 42 › Chapter 68 › Subchapter V › § 5207

    42 U.S. Code § 5207 – Firearms policies

    US Code
    Authorities (CFR)

    prev | next
    (a) Prohibition on confiscation of firearmsNo officer or employee of the United States (including any member of the uniformed services), or person operating pursuant to or under color of Federal law, or receiving Federal funds, or under control of any Federal official, or providing services to such an officer, employee, or other person, while acting in support of relief from a major disaster or emergency, may—
    (1) temporarily or permanently seize, or authorize seizure of, any firearm the possession of which is not prohibited under Federal, State, or local law, other than for forfeiture in compliance with Federal law or as evidence in a criminal investigation;
    (2) require registration of any firearm for which registration is not required by Federal, State, or local law;
    (3) prohibit possession of any firearm, or promulgate any rule, regulation, or order prohibiting possession of any firearm, in any place or by any person where such possession is not otherwise prohibited by Federal, State, or local law; or
    (4) prohibit the carrying of firearms by any person otherwise authorized to carry firearms under Federal, State, or local law, solely because such person is operating under the direction, control, or supervision of a Federal agency in support of relief from the major disaster or emergency.
    (b) Limitation

    Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any person in subsection (a) from requiring the temporary surrender of a firearm as a condition for entry into any mode of transportation used for rescue or evacuation during a major disaster or emergency, provided that such temporarily surrendered firearm is returned at the completion of such rescue or evacuation.
    (c) Private rights of action
    (1) In general

    Any individual aggrieved by a violation of this section may seek relief in an action at law, suit in equity, or other proper proceeding for redress against any person who subjects such individual, or causes such individual to be subjected, to the deprivation of any of the rights, privileges, or immunities secured by this section.
    (2) Remedies

    In addition to any existing remedy in law or equity, under any law, an individual aggrieved by the seizure or confiscation of a firearm in violation of this section may bring an action for return of such firearm in the United States district court in the district in which that individual resides or in which such firearm may be found.
    (3) Attorney fees

    In any action or proceeding to enforce this section, the court shall award the prevailing party, other than the United States, a reasonable attorney’s fee as part of the costs.
    (Pub. L. 93–288, title VII, § 706, as added Pub. L. 109–295, title V, § 557, Oct. 4, 2006, 120 Stat. 1391.)

    Reply this comment
    • Bigjoe57 5 September, 2017, 15:24

      Laws are written for us, shame the government dont follow them like they require everyone else to

      Reply this comment
    • Richard Tast 5 September, 2017, 16:41

      Federal statutes are not law within the Union, 50 states. Federal authority, (jurisdiction) exists on on federally owned soil. That someone would attempt to, or even enforce it outside such federal owned soil does not make it any more lawful merely because they are a federal agent/employee.

      Reply this comment
      • Dave 5 September, 2017, 20:36

        The law that applies to situations where state and federal laws disagree is called the supremacy clause, which is part of article VI of the Constitution. The supremacy clause contains what’s known as the doctrine of pre-emption, which says that the federal government wins in the case of conflicting legislation.

        Reply this comment
    • Chameleon 9 September, 2017, 01:29

      This was a decent start, but like most laws, creates more perverse questions than problems it solves.

      It only restricts Federal officers, not State or local officers. Not quite sure how territorial officers fit into the whole schema…

      Would the (State or local) authority running a shelter paid for or supplied by FEMA qualify as “receiving Federal funds? (Sec. a)” I’d think so. Would they be considered “under control of any Federal official? (Sec. a)” Maybe. Would they be considered “providing services to such an [federal] officer, employee, or other person? (Sec. a)” Arguments can be made either way.

      Does an Emergency Order qualify as a State or local law in this context? It doesn’t in other contexts.

      It does authorize the seizure of a firearm upon boarding a transport vehicle, but requires the firearm to be returned as soon as the owner leaves the transport vehicle. That leaves major issues…

      What if the emergency shelter prohibits the possession of firearms? What if you get off the vehicle in the parking garage? Is the Federal officer required to keep it? Is the Federal officer required to give it to the local authorities? Is the Federal officer required to give it back to you? If the Federal officer gives it back to you, do you have an affirmative (and immediately applicable on scene) defense for possessing a firearm (for however brief a time) in a place where possession is prohibited? What if possession was legal under normal circumstances, but made illegal under Emergency Order? What if you are transported across state lines? All of my firearms are completely legal in my state, but several are illegal (felony) in my closest neighboring state. Anyone transporting a firearm into several states without the proper paperwork completed ahead of time is committing a felony. The feds save your life and evacuate you, and you spend the rest of the emergency in jail simply because the feds chose where to drop you off…

      Every video I’ve seen of people being brought into the shelters in Texas shows the people being wanded by cops with blue hands, presumably to screen for weapons. Since those shelters are being supplied by and reimbursed by FEMA, does that make these screenings in violation of this law?

      Reply this comment
  11. RegT 5 September, 2017, 14:48

    This Alpha Hotel governor isn’t seizing them because the National Guard needs them, he is seizing them because he doesn’t want the citizens to have them – especially when he will probably be having the National Guard perform other illegal acts – like detaining/arresting citizens without cause or legal justification, commandeering their property – food, fuel, etc. – or other acts of taking without compensation.

    One look at this in-duh-vidual is enough to know he blew someone for his position (Barry Soetero, perhaps?), and thinks of the citizens of his jurisdiction as _subjects_ – or as civilians, in the way many cops (I’m a former peace officer) look down upon civilians.

    Reply this comment
  12. Farmhand 5 September, 2017, 14:49

    This is an in your face move. What will we do about it? When will anyone do anything about it? We know what will happen because of the history of Katrina, so why will no one stand up to this tyrant? The National Guard has all the weapons they need. This is nothing more or less than out right theft. What should be done? Those of us too far to help should of course write to our representatives and call. I know, it does little to no good, but at least we will be on record as having used that route. Next, those with the finances and ability should use that to place a legal restraint on this criminal. Lastly, our Oathkeeper brothers down there need to make their own plans to resist “peacefully”

    Reply this comment
  13. freedixie 5 September, 2017, 15:59

    So, the military is not equipped with firearms and ammunition? They have to confiscate it from the citizens? This is asking for people to get killed, on both sides. The first one who came to my door trying to confiscate my weapons would be shot. Oh, they would probably get me, but how many of them would I get first? This is a little, fat, wannabe dictator that needs kicking out of office. You can’t protect the innocent by disarming the innocent.

    Reply this comment
  14. freedixie 5 September, 2017, 16:05

    This idiot governor, a wannabe dictator, is going to get people killed.

    Reply this comment
  15. John Ridgeway 5 September, 2017, 18:21

    “To ensure safety” What peer reviewed studies were used to come to that conclusion. “Actual Fraud” seems like the only conclusion the people could charge the Governor with.

    Reply this comment
  16. Hotmess 5 September, 2017, 18:30

    May the confiscators be met with hot lead in their illegal actions if they occur. The Gov should be calling on his civilians to help protect and maintain order

    Reply this comment
  17. Mac T 5 September, 2017, 20:16

    No officer or employee of the United States (including any member of the uniformed services), or person operating pursuant to or under color of Federal law, or receiving Federal funds, or under control of any Federal official, or providing services to such an officer, employee, or other person, while acting in support of relief from a major disaster or emergency, may—
    (1) temporarily or permanently seize, or authorize seizure of, any firearm the possession of which is not prohibited under Federal, State, or local law, other than for forfeiture in compliance with Federal law or as evidence in a criminal investigation;
    NOTE KEY LATTER SUBTEXT INCLUDED HEREIN:
    ******NOTHING this section shall be construed to prohibit ANY person in subsection (A) from REQUIRING the TEMPORARY SURRENDER of a firearm as a condition for entry into any mode of transportation used for RESCUE or evacuation DURING a major DISASTER or EMERGENCY, provided that such temporarily surrendered firearm is returned at the completion of such rescue or evacuation.
    (c) Private rights of action
    (1) In general********

    It’s all written to make you feel comforted and so you can sleep believing this legal jargon ensures nothing will be taken from you. Truth is, they can and will take it if they want. They’re bigger, and meaner.

    But sidebar… here’s MY big question… Why the facade? What is the left hand doing while the right hand is drafting this spiel? You can’t tell me this is all to prevent a little looting or rioting. WHO is moving around over there????

    Pretty curious and interesting wake-up-style material, peeps.

    Reply this comment
  18. Green Giant 5 September, 2017, 20:25

    This is just wrong. So what excuse does he have for violating the rights of citizens. Does he claim that by taking their guns he will make ANYONE safer? No this is the same thing that happened in Hurricane Katrina. And it was bogus then. He can’t protect the citizens from criminals when the hurricane hits. So what will he gain? Point from ONE WORLD ORDER. Since it is for sure, the guns will NEVER be returned.

    Reply this comment
  19. Sad1Sam2 5 September, 2017, 21:53

    So the governor plans on shooting the hurricane??

    Reply this comment
  20. Ltpar 6 September, 2017, 02:36

    Sounds like the Governor is declaring Martial Law. I am not sure he has the authority to do that. Hopefully, the people will come together and refuse to give up their firearms.

    Reply this comment
  21. CHAPMAN 6 September, 2017, 06:12

    And what about the criminals and those who illegally posses fire arms more powerful than police and the guards?????

    Reply this comment
  22. Al 6 September, 2017, 08:04

    I just saw rhe New Orleans video for the first time amd although it is chilling to see what happened there, I cant stop laughing at gje fact that the soldier who occupied the church; his last name is Bible.

    Reply this comment
  23. WGP 6 September, 2017, 09:34

    Only a moron would participate in such rubish. Maybe give the Somali style governor a rope to go hang himself with. Otherwise, expect to be murdered by his mercenaries.

    Sounds a little harsh, but just watch the outcome when this action spreads to Florida, and beyond.

    Reply this comment
    • RJS 6 September, 2017, 23:55

      @WGP…So this pluck is going to try to set a precedent for gun confiscation ? Maybe this Cat5 is going to go right up the coast ? So everyone gets confiscated all up the coast ? And the NWO is said to have weather controlling tech, so now they just unleash storms on us and confiscate all firearms ? Let’s all rememberSolshenitzen when he wrote that they were furious with themselves for not resisting their gun confiscations. If only, he wrote, that they made sure that the confiscators didn’t go home in one piece, that it would have sent a message to the rest of those bolsheviks. If only they had fought back with a hot poker or a table leg with a nail in the end, something to smack them upside the head and rip out an eye, or put a puncture wound into their brain. Everybody is going to die eventually, he wrote, might as well die fighting tyranny when it comes bashing down your door, instead of going meekly like a pusillanimous pussy into the paddy wagon. He said that is the time to resist, with a plan to make sure they have horror stories to tell their kids, IF they survive your onslaught.. I think he knew what he was talking about. After they get your guns, they will come back and either kill you or put you in chains. I think he thinks that it if they are going to kill you anyway, you might as well kill them first while you still got something to fight with.

      Reply this comment
      • WGP 7 September, 2017, 11:47

        Notice how when there is an urgency to protect your property, family and self, they always want to destroy your rights: Never do they encourage buying a wespon and enough ammo to assist in peace keeping. Also notice there is never any consequence to their lawless actions.

        Reply this comment
  24. vince 6 September, 2017, 17:07

    During a crisis governments do what they want. Before people realize it the police and military are going door to door. All in the name of public safety. With good lawyers by there side they can even find loopholes in the Constitution.

    Reply this comment
    • WGP 7 September, 2017, 12:37

      We need our gonads firr up during those illegal door to searches, or whatever they call it that day and make it ckear they aren’t welcime to steo on your property. Making a decree to go door to door or delare some bogus unconstituna action is reason to not budge. We are quite capable of protecting ourselves without their help, which is usually deminished.

      Reply this comment
      • WGP 12 September, 2017, 20:52

        lol…must have been having a problem with the keyboard…

        Reply this comment
  25. FreedomOrBust 7 September, 2017, 01:45

    Not that I’m an american citizen but this is nothing more than shameless theft by an ultra left liberal dictator that should be tried for treason and violating the freedom of US citizens and their constitutional right to bear arms. I think citizens should band together and get a court injunction prior to a massive lawsuite to stop the tyrants from continuing with these actions. Even if it has to go to the constitutional court. As an added measure gun owners and their families and friends should identify the employed individuals of the related agencies who perform these actions and boycott them by refusing to provide services to them. So if you own a ship and you see a policeman or national guardsman after the disaster you simply refuse to serve him until he apologizes for his treason and returns all the property he stole.

    Also if the lawsuit is successful, also pursue further action against the governor, level charges of treason, constant protests at his home and office, try to get him removed from office. Kick up such a s###storm that no governor in the US will ever try this again.

    Honestly if you guys allow this to go on you’ll soon end up like the UK and never have guns again and have oppressive SJW laws that don’t permit freedom of speech and you’ll have refugees everywhere and criminals will be able to attack you with no fear since law abiding citizens won’t have guns.

    Any law enforcement officer and any national guardsman taking guns and property from citizens should be considered traitors and thieves and be treated as such. Isolate them in society and refuse to help or speak to them. Make them outcasts. Even their own families should shun such filth!

    Reply this comment
  26. Chameleon 9 September, 2017, 01:49

    It just donned on me…I’ve seen the video several times, but this is the first time it clicked. Wouldn’t the National Guard occupying the church verge on a 3rd Amendment violation?

    Reply this comment
    • WGP 10 September, 2017, 09:37

      It would be interesting to discover if the gentleman and his wife had their weapons returned.

      First thing to do with these idiots going door to door is hand them a copy of the constitution, and remind them the oath they are charged with in protecting and preserving our God given, not government given rights. Then close the door. If they barge in they get what’s know as enforcing our duty to protect our nation from domestic enemies. We might want to hand these pocket constitutions out at the gate entrances to all military facilities. It’s obvious in the video that the commanders and their subordinates should have refused to carry out such a mission.

      Reply this comment
  27. Walt 9 September, 2017, 04:04

    “Get off my lawn.” Walt Kowalski, Gran Torino, 2008.

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*