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The NRA and other groups sued the city, saying it took away people's means of protection amid the lawlessness that gripped New Orleans.
"Natural disasters may destroy great cities, but they do not destroy civil rights," said Alan Gottlieb, founder of the Second Amendment Foundation, which joined the NRA in the lawsuit.
Some owners complained it was difficult to get them back. Gun owners must bring a bill of sale or an affidavit with the weapon's serial number. Police also are running criminal background checks on those claiming weapons.
Some gun owners found the weapons were evidence in a crime and not eligible for release. Others did not have the proper paperwork.