Recent Press Releases

Washington, DC —  Senator John Thune today voted in favor of an amendment to the Homeland Security Appropriations bill that would prohibit funds appropriated under this measure from being used to confiscate lawfully possessed firearms based on the existence of a declaration or state of emergency. Senator Thune is a cosponsor of the amendment, offered by Senator David Vitter (R-LA).

In the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina last year-with no way of reaching police or making emergency calls-many residents in the affected regions legally armed themselves to protect their families and homes from the ensuing chaos and civil disorder. The then-New Orleans Police Superintendent, however, ordered his officers to confiscate all firearms, claiming this authority under a state emergency powers law. According to various reports, military and law enforcement officials from several states confiscated guns from New Orleans residents.

"For more than 200 years, the Second Amendment has given law-abiding Americans a sense of security in knowing they can defend themselves and their families when their safety is in jeopardy," Thune said. "This freedom couldn't be more essential than in emergency or chaotic situations, such as natural or major disasters, when law enforcement officials are unable to be reached and American families are in harm's way. Today's amendment strengthens the Second Amendment and protects the men and women who legally rely on it to defend themselves when their personal safety is at stake."

The Vitter Amendment passed by a vote of 84 to 16.