Text: H.R.5013 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)
Referred in Senate (08/04/2006)
[Congressional Bills 109th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Printing Office]
[H.R. 5013 Referred in Senate (RFS)]
H. R. 5013
IN THE SENATE OF THE UNITED STATES
July 26, 2006
August 4 (legislative day, August 3), 2006
Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary
To amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency
Assistance Act to prohibit the confiscation of firearms during certain
Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the
United States of America in Congress assembled,
SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.
This Act may be cited as the ``Disaster Recovery Personal
Protection Act of 2006''.
SEC. 2. FINDINGS.
Congress finds the following:
(1) The Second Amendment to the Constitution states that a
``well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a
free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms,
shall not be infringed'', and Congress has repeatedly
recognized this language as protecting an individual right.
(2) In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, State and local law
enforcement and public safety service organizations were
overwhelmed and could not fulfill the safety needs of the
citizens of the State of Louisiana.
(3) In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, the safety of these
citizens, and of their homes and property, was threatened by
instances of criminal activity.
(4) Many of these citizens lawfully kept firearms for the
safety of themselves, their loved ones, their businesses, and
their property, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment, and used
their firearms, individually or in concert with their
neighbors, for protection against crime.
(5) In the wake of Hurricane Katrina, certain agencies
confiscated the firearms of these citizens in contravention of
the Second Amendment, depriving these citizens of the right to
keep and bear arms and rendering them helpless against criminal
(6) These confiscations were carried out at gunpoint by
nonconsensual entries into private homes, by traffic
checkpoints, by stoppage of boats, and otherwise by force.
(7) The citizens from whom firearms were confiscated were
either in their own homes or attempting to flee the flooding
and devastation by means of motor vehicle or boat, and were
accosted, stopped, and arbitrarily deprived of their private
property and means of protection.
(8) The means by which the confiscations were carried out,
which included intrusion into the home, temporary detention of
persons, and seizures of property, constituted unreasonable
searches and seizures and deprived these citizens of liberty
and property without due process of law in violation of
fundamental rights under the Constitution.
(9) Many citizens who took temporary refuge in emergency
housing were prohibited from storing firearms on the premises,
and were thus treated as second-class citizens who had
forfeited their constitutional right to keep and bear arms.
(10) At least one highly-qualified search and rescue team
was prevented from joining in relief efforts because the team
included individuals with firearms, although these individuals
had been deputized as Federal law enforcement officers.
(11) These confiscations and prohibitions, and the means by
which they were carried out, deprived the citizens of Louisiana
not only of their right to keep and bear arms, but also of
their rights to personal security, personal liberty, and
private property, all in violation of the Constitution and laws
of the United States.
SEC. 3. PROHIBITION ON CONFISCATION OF FIREARMS DURING CERTAIN NATIONAL
Title VII of the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency
Assistance Act (42 U.S.C. 5201) is amended by adding at the end the
``SEC. 706. FIREARMS POLICIES.
``(a) Prohibition on Confiscation of Firearms.--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
``(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
``(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 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.
``(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.''.
Passed the House of Representatives July 25, 2006.
KAREN L. HAAS,