LA Senate Advances Bill That Will Allow Louisianians To Carry Concealed Guns Without a Permit

Source: “handgun” by robertnelson is licensed under CC BY 2.0) 

Today, a Louisiana Senate Committee voted on advancing SB 118 which will dissolve the requirement that Louisiana residents must get a concealed carry permit if they would like to carry a concealed gun.  

The author of the bill, state Senator Jay Morris said “The second amendment to the U.S. Constitution provides the right to keep and bear arms. This is simply confirming this right.” 

He explained, “All this bill says is that if you are 21 and above and you’re not a convicted felon, you don’t have to get a permit to exercise that right.” 

Currently, the rule in Louisiana is that people must undergo firearm training before they can obtain a concealed carry permit. Senator Morris’s bill will change this rule so that untrained people will now be able to carry firearms into public spaces. 

The training Morris wants to make no longer mandatory involves: 

  • One hour of handgun safe handling procedures and nomenclature instruction
  • One hour of ammunition knowledge and pistol shooting fundamentals instruction
  • Three hours of training on the use of deadly force and conflict resolution
  • One hour of handgun shooting positions instruction
  • One hour of child access prevention instruction
  • One hour of live range firing of 36 rounds and then training on handgun cleaning procedures

Each applicant will shoot their 36 rounds at 6 feet, 10 feet, and 15 feet from the target. They must score 100% within the NRA B-27 type silhouette target to get their permit. They must also perform at least one safe reload of their handgun at each distance. 

A class instructor, Matt Parker, is in favor of the bill, although he stressed that it’s still important that gun owners learn how to use their weapons. “If you carry a gun, think very hard and long about carrying that gun and not being trained. You need to be trained with that firearm, whichever one you choose. It’s extremely important. It could be between a matter of life and death.” 

According to the bill, if people still want to go through the permit training and get a permit, they can. “So if somebody wanted to get a permit, and a lot of people will continue to want a permit simply because it provides for reciprocity with other states if people went to other states and felt like they needed self-protection. So that preserves that,” said Morris. The bill also still preserves the laws that convicted felons, people convicted of violent crimes, and intoxicated people cannot carry concealed weapons. 

Many Louisianians are against the bill because it will enable untrained people to carry concealed weapons and will increase the number of weapons being carried in public spaces, leading to more gun-related accidents, injuries, and even deaths. 

State Senator Karen Carter Peterson wrote in a Facebook post, “I stand against Senate Bill 118, a Republican attempt to put the public at risk by eliminating permit and safety requirements for concealed carry of firearms. It’s tone-deaf to the crisis of gun violence on our streets – #lalege should reject it tomorrow.” 

Despite safety arguments against the bill, and the fact that Louisiana ranks 5th in the nation for gun-related deaths, today the members of the Senate Judiciary Committee voted 3-2 to report the bill favorably to the full Senate. 

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