Louisiana lawmakers advance permitless concealed carry gun bill

Louisiana is one step closer to joining the list of states that allow people to carry concealed guns without a permit, as Republican lawmakers advanced legislation Thursday during a special session that was called to address violent crime.

Legislators also greenlighted a bill that would provide a level of immunity from civil liability for someone who uses a concealed firearm to shoot a person in self-defense.

The Senate approved both measures on party-line votes, sending them to the House, where the GOP holds a two-thirds supermajority. Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry has already signaled that he plans to sign the bills if they reach his desk.

Gun rights advocates have dubbed the measure that would allow adults 18 and older to carry concealed handguns without a permit as a “constitutional carry bill,” saying that current permitting requirements are unconstitutional. Those requirements include being fingerprinted and paying a fee.

“The Second Amendment is our God-given right to bear arms and defend our families,” said GOP state Sen. Blake Miguez, who wrote the concealed carry bills approved in his chamber. “No more begging the government to get permission to protect what’s ours.”

Miguez and other Republicans argued that criminals ignore gun requirements and that law-abiding citizens should be allowed to carry concealed weapons without a permit to protect themselves. Democrats say the measure could lead to more gun violence and jeopardize public safety.

Lawmakers are considering a slew of “tough-on-crime” policies during their short session. They include expanding methods for death row executionsharsher sentencing for certain crimes, restricting or eliminating the opportunity of parole for certain offenders and mandating that 17-year-olds be tried as adults when charged with a felony.

Twenty-seven states, including all that border Louisiana, allow people to carry a concealed weapon without a permit, according to the U.S. Concealed Carry Association.




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