Livingston Parish is now a Second Amendment sanctuary. Here’s what it means.

LIVINGSTON — The Livingston Parish Council unanimously passed a resolution Thursday making the parish a Second Amendment sanctuary.

The resolution, proposed by parish councilman and parish president candidate Jeff Ard, means Livingston Parish will join other municipalities around the state and country in a fight to preserve the right to bear arms should state or federal laws on the matter change.

“This bill is to protect our rights”

“This is another layer of protection for our Second Amendment rights for Livingston Parish citizens,” Ard said when introducing the resolution. “Right now we kinda have federal and state (laws), but if they were to start tinkering with that and trying to take our rights, this is another layer that helps protect our Second Amendment right.”

While the vote was unanimous, there were both pro and anti-resolution arguments during the council meeting.

“I’m a gun owner,” a Denham Springs resident said. “Nobody’s getting your guns. They never have. So, we’re going to say to the world, ‘Livingston Parish, guns!’ But we’re more than that.”

“This bill is to protect our rights,” a resident in the Juban area said. “It’s not uncommon for the government — state, federal or federal agencies — to come after your firearms. Whether it’s a law … or rule made by the ATF. So things like this are very important because it protects us on a local level … and the government is not here to help us.”

What is a ‘Second Amendment Sanctuary’?

Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions are a fast-growing and heavily debated topic between pro-gun advocates and gun violence groups.

Many legal experts call Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions nothing more than political posturing with no real judicial impacts. It was a sentiment echoed by legal counsel for the Livingston Parish Council before Thursday’s vote.

“It certainly gives an expression for what you stand for, I’m not sure exactly what it accomplishes beyond that,” Christopher Moody said.

Essentially, the resolutions are nothing more than a united opposition against stricter gun laws, legal experts have told Unfiltered with Kiran. In most cases, the ordinances or resolutions are passed after stricter gun laws were proposed. That was not the case in Livingston Parish.

Still, the council voted to be a united voice against any future changes in state or federal gun laws — should they be passed.

Legal experts tell UWK that Livingston Parish residents will still be held to federal and state gun laws that are in place. They also point out that federal laws on the Second Amendment supersede state and local laws on the matter.

Sanctuaries in Louisiana

An estimated 1,200 jurisdictions in 37 states have adopted resolutions opposing the enforcement of state and federal laws that violates the Second Amendment.

Other parishes in Louisiana have passed Second Amendment sanctuary resolutions. St. Mary was among the first in Louisiana to become a so-called ‘Second Amendment sanctuary’ when parish leaders passed a resolution in 2020.

Since then, others around the state have joined the movement by passing similar resolutions including Pointe Coupee, Grant, Rapides and Winn Parishes.

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