Concealed carry

Lawmakers kill permitless concealed carry bill

BATON ROUGE – The bill that would have allowed permitless concealed carry for residents over 21 failed two days before the legislative session is scheduled to come to an end.

State Rep. Danny McCormick, R-Oil City, voluntarily deferred HB 131 after several amendments were added that he did not support.

The original bill aimed at allowing people 18 and older to conceal carry a gun without training or a permit.

The bill passed the House floor on May 23 with 71 representatives in favor and 29 against. It passed the Senate Judiciary Committee with a 4-1 vote on May 30.

It was recommitted to the Senate Committee on Revenue and Fiscal Affairs to discuss the bill’s potential fiscal impact.

Supporters of the bill argue that it aligns with the Second Amendment and brings Louisiana in line with 27 other states with similar constitutional carry laws.

“Forcing law-abiding citizens to pay a tax while asking the government’s permission can be nothing less than infringing on that right,” McCormick said.

“The Second Amendment declares that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. Unfortunately, Louisiana has been infringing on that God-given right for too long, forcing law-abiding citizens to pay a tax and seek government permission,” McCormick said. “These rights are enshrined in the founding documents. We must restore these rights for the law-abiding citizens of Louisiana.”

One proposed amendment would have required everyone to complete an online handgun education course to receive a concealed handgun permit. Another amendment would have extended the online course duration from two hours and 15 minutes to 4.5 hours.

“I was at the gun shop picking up a gun I had ordered, and while I was there, there was a young man there also purchasing a handgun,” said Sen. Jay Luneau, D-Alexandria. “He stuck it down in his waistband, walked around with it a little bit, and took it back out. And he said, ‘Okay, that’s the one I want.’ And the lady that owned the gun shop said, ‘Is there anything you need to know about this gun?’ He goes, ‘Yeah, how do you load it?’ If that doesn’t demonstrate that this can be problematic without just a little bit of training, I don’t know what else does.”

“We’re going to allow 21-year-olds or whoever to purchase a semiautomatic handgun,” he added. “That’s incredibly dangerous if you don’t know how to use it correctly and not require any training. That just makes absolutely no sense to me.”

Another amendment proposed would have required individuals to present their valid current driver’s license or identification card issued by the State of Louisiana when a law enforcement officer is made aware that they are concealed carrying.

“Constitutional carry by definition, my supporters wouldn’t want any required training or a government list that their name would go on,” McCormick said.

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