New Orleans Begins Confiscating Firearms as Water Recedes
By ALEX BERENSON
and TIMOTHY WILLIAMS
Published: September 8, 2005
NEW ORLEANS, Sept. 8 - Waters were receding across this flood-beaten city today as police officers began confiscating weapons, including legally registered weapons, from civilians in preparation for a mass forced evacuation of the residents still living here.
No civilians in New Orleans will be allowed to carry pistols, shotguns, or other firearms of any kind, said P. Edwin Compass, the superintendent of police. "Only law enforcement are allowed to have weapons," he said.
But that order apparently does not apply to the hundreds of security guards whom businesses and some wealthy individuals have hired to protect their property. The guards, who are civilians working for private security firms like Blackwater, are openly carrying M-16's and other assault rifles. Mr. Compass said he was aware of the private guards, but that the police had no plans to make them give up their weapons.