In the course of research for our book on the confiscation of firearms in the aftermath of the hurricane, we heard a number of similar stories. They all followed the same vein: A citizen is pulled over in a traffic stop. The NOPD officer takes a gun from the citizen, and asks if the citizen has a receipt for the gun. When the answer is no, the gun is seized, and the citizen is informed if they will show up at a specific precinct with proof of ownership, they can have the gun back.
A recent gentleman caller on a New Orleans radio talk show described having a personal handgun seized during a traffic stop. This particular gun was passed down through his family — it was an heirloom — and he wanted it back. This gentleman stated he had placed numerous calls to different divisions within the department, and had been unable to get any information on the whereabouts of his gun.
A local gun store informed me they have had numerous citizens buy guns, only to return and beg for a copy of their receipt to get the gun back after it had been seized during a traffic stop in New Orleans.
The officer should be prosecuted, the chief should be prosecuted for not stopping this, and the mayor ought to have his ass kicked for tolerating this crap in the police department.
Remember a movie called The Big Easy? Big factor in the movie was corruption in NOPD. I didn't realize at the time it wasn't a drama, it was a documentary.