Text: H.R.5013 — 109th Congress (2005-2006)All Information (Except Text)

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Referred in Senate (08/04/2006)

[Congressional Bills 109th Congress]
[From the U.S. Government Publishing Office]
[H.R. 5013 Referred in Senate (RFS)]

  2d Session
                                H. R. 5013



                             July 26, 2006


               August 4 (legislative day, August 3), 2006

       Read twice and referred to the Committee on the Judiciary


                                 AN ACT

     To amend the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency 
Assistance Act to prohibit the confiscation of firearms during certain 
                         national emergencies.

    Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of the 
United States of America in Congress assembled,


    This Act may be cited as the ``Disaster Recovery Personal 
Protection Act of 2006''.


    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.


    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 


    ``(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 
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 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,