Amendment could change gun laws in Louisiana - WAFB 9 News Baton Rouge, Louisiana News, Weather, Sports

Amendment could change gun laws in Louisiana

BATON ROUGE, LA (WAFB) -

Louisiana is a state that already has among the nation's strongest gun protection legislation. On November 6th, that gun protection may become stronger.

"Our founding fathers of this country had certain ideas for the future of this country our right to vote, freedom of speech and right to bear arms," said State Representative Erich Ponti.

Ponti supports the proposed change that would require any future restrictions of state gun laws to go through a strict judicial review.

"It sets a precedent," added Ponti. "This is our highest standard. Our founding fathers when our country was founded wanted this level and that we are saying this is where it needs to be and take that job into courts and put it into law."

Opponents of the amendment however, believe the changes will open the door for citizens to challenge the state's existing gun laws.

Barry Erwin is the president of the council for a better Louisiana and says the proposed legislation could mean concealed weapons in places never before intended.

"Maybe courts are stuck under this constitutional amendment saying yeah your dorm is your home and so we open the doors to having guns in dorms and fraternity houses and that type of thing," said Erwin. "I don't think that's the intent and people around state don't want that but I do think that people should know that is one of the possible consequences."

Another according to Erwin is that the amendment could equal shorter sentences for true criminals.

"It's a tool already used by law enforcement. This opens the door for people who really are criminals to use that as a way to lessen their sentence or get them out of some things.

I think that is unintended but it's one of the consequences that occur," added Erwin.

But for Ponti this change is about preserving the right to bear arms for law abiding citizens and insuring that future laws cannot affect that right.

"We've done a lot of the laws and changed them to go to the highest level and this is another that's important for our citizens in the state to move this to the highest level absolutely," said Ponti.

Copyright 2012 WAFB. All rights reserved.

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