US Virgin Islands Governor Renews Gun, Ammunition Seizure Order

REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

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Robert Donachie Capitol Hill and Health Care Reporter
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U.S. Virgin Islands Gov. Kenneth Mapp renewed a highly controversial executive order in January that allows the National Guard to seize arms from everyday civilians.

The executive order Mapp extended on Jan. 2 was first issued in September. The order declares that the U.S. Virgin Islands is in a “state of emergency” and gives the adjunct general power “that may be required by the military forces for the performance of this emergency mission.”

Mapp told The Daily Caller in a December 2017 phone interview that the national guard is “not authorized to take arms and munitions from civilians,” and said those that continue to think the order authorized that power are being “foolish.” While Mapp continues to make the same assertion when questioned about the order, the language of the text explicitly authorizes the seizure of arms and ammunition.

The governor said in the Jan. 2 order that the nation is still in a state of emergency following the devastation brought on from Hurricanes Irma and Maria. The order also says that the “state of emergency declared effective 12:01 a.m. on Sept. 5, 2017  is hereby renewed, and such State of Emergency, along with all terms previously declared in the order.” That would include the language authorizing the seizure of arms, ammunition and other property.

The order will stay in effect through Feb. 2, unless earlier lifted or reauthorized by the governor. 


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