A hurricane is on the way, and preparations always include boarding up windows, stocking up on food, water and batteries, and sometimes fleeing inland.
A governor in one U.S. territory, however, has another plan: Grab all the guns.
According to the Daily Caller, the governor of the Virgin Islands, a U.S. territory, has signed an order to that effect.
The order explains that Gov. Kenneth E. Mapp authorized the territory’s adjutant general “to mobilize such units of the National Guard as are necessary to maintain or restore public order, and to guarantee the safety of life and property,” as Hurricane Irma approaches from the Atlantic.
The adjutant general, he said, “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, in accordance with the Rules of Force promulgated by the Virgin Islands National Guard and approved by the Virgin Islands Department of Justice.”
Irma was reported on Tuesday to be a Category 5 hurricane, with winds up to 175 miles her hour, and the eye is expected to pass just north of the heart of the islands on Wednesday.
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The Daily Caller said Mapp signed the order Monday.
He warned, “This is not an opportunity to go outside and try to have fun with a hurricane.
“It’s not time to get on a surfboard,” he continued.
The gun seizure order technically also allows authorities to take control of “any other property.”
Puerto Rico Gov. Ricardo Rosselo and Florida Gov. Rick Scott also declared states of emergencies in anticipation of Irma. But they did not include the gun confiscation authorization.
Mapp wrote that the order was issued under authority of Title 23, Chapter 19, Virgin Islands Code, and insisted it is necessary “to maintain the health, welfare, and safety of the people of the Virgin Islands.”
The adjutant general is given the right to “take whatever actions she considers necessary to carry out the assigned missions.”
The order provides for “payment for salaries, benefits, health insurance, worker’s compensation, necessary meals, fuel and other operational and administrative costs.”
But there was no mention of compensation to gun owners.