Yesterday we told you about Kenneth Mapp, the Governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands, and his decision to issue an order that would allow the National Guard on the Islands to seize the arms, and ammunition of the people under his protection.
Governor Kenneth Mapp (I) has signed an executive order allowing the (unconstitutional) seizure of guns, ammo, explosives, and other property that the National Guard might need to respond to Hurricane Irma. The Governor’s Order directs Adjutant General Deborah Howell “to take whatever actions she considers necessary to carry out the assigned mission” which was to maintain and restore public order and to guarantee the safety of life and property.
“The Adjutant General is authorized and directed to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material and any other property that may be required by the military forces for the performance of this emergency mission.”
On Wednesday evening Governor Mapp took exception to the idea that he was allowing for the seizure of the private arms and ammunition of the citizens on his islands. In an appearance on Fox News, Mapp told Tucker Carlson that the order DID NOT allow the government to seize the weapons and ammunition of citizens.
“I did not order or authorize the Adjutant General of the Virgin Islands National Guard to seize any weapons from any citizens, and I do not have the power — by Virgin Islands law or by the Constitution of the United States — to seize weapons from citizens via the military.”
Mapp then said the order does empower the Adjutant General “to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material”, but claimed this meant the National Guard could purchase such items from a store, if they lacked the firearms they needed to keep public order:
[The Adjutant General] has the authorization to spend government resources and acquire. We don’t seize property without due compensation to the property owner, after the appropriate assessment.
In the interview with Tucker Carlson, Mapp attempted to draw a distinction between “seizing weapons and other property that may be required by military forces”, and “seizing weapons and other property from citizens”, which he said was not mentioned in the executive order.
It is true that the order doesn’t contain the word “citizens” or “civilians” but it is unclear how the order could be interpreted as not being applicable to property owned by civilians, unless he intended the National Guard to be authorized to seize only property owned by incorporated companies or trusts. No such stipulations or distinctions are made in the executive order.
Mapp explained that the order did not allow the government to seize the guns and ammo of citizens, but instead allowed the Adjutant General to buy the guns and ammo that the National Guard needed without first going through normal channels to do so.
The problem is that his order says nothing about any of this. It simply says, “The Adjutant General is authorized and directed to seize arms, ammunition, explosives, incendiary material and any other property that may be required by the military forces for the performance of this emergency mission.”
Mapp has only himself to blame for the pushback against him and his executive order.
Here’s the full interview with Fox News: