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Bill allowing La. residents to carry concealed firearms without permit heads to governor’s desk

Published: Jun. 2, 2021 at 3:38 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 3, 2021 at 10:21 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A bill that would allow gun owners in Louisiana to carry concealed firearms without a permit is now headed to the desk of Gov. John Bel Edwards.

On Wednesday, June 2, the Senate voted 27-9 in favor of changes made by the House to the bill authored by state Sen. Jay Morris (R - Monroe).

If the bill is signed into law, anyone 21 years or older in Louisiana would be allowed to carry a concealed handgun without the need of a permit, unless they are restricted by law from having a firearm.

Gun owners in Louisiana who wished to concealed carry a firearm would no longer be required to take a nine-hour gun safety course or pay a fee to the Louisiana State Police for a concealed carry permit.

Over at FRC Firearms Range & Clothing right on South Choctaw in Baton Rouge, the folks there are all about teaching people how to properly use a gun.

They offer concealed carry classes as well.

“As of right now, the state mandates a 9 hour class okay. Which includes unauthorized persons access, it includes care and cleaning, it includes range time. It includes basic nomenclature, basic firearms safety,” said John Hanchey, Chief Instructor and General Manager at FRC Firearms Range & Clothing.

But soon all that instruction may not be necessary...

“We’re all about training, however, at the same time we don’t feel it should be mandated. We are a constitutional carry advocates, and I’ve promoted that. And I think it’s time, for this state to join the other states, like Tennessee and Missouri, and Texas is about to pass their constitutional carry as well. And we should be a part of that,” said Hanchey.

But some organizations like the NAACP, aren’t on board with the move quite yet.

“We fully support the second amendment right and our right to bear arms, but with this particular training is a concern for us,” said Eugene Collins, Baton Rouge Chapter of the NAACP president.

Obviously, you would still have to go through background checks beforehand.

But Collins thinks bills like this, could lead to negative outcomes.

“At a time when we’re seeing gun related tragedies go up, we should not be reducing training standards. and that’s the problem we have with this bill,” said Collins.

“My position on this has not changed,” said Governor Edwards.

Edwards is not a fan of the bill. Despite being what he calls a second amendment advocate.

And says the laws in Louisiana right now concerning permitting, strike the right balance.

“A law enforcement officer doesn’t want to discover that someone with whom they’re engaging, has a firearm for the first time while they are searching them. And that leads to a lot of problems,” said Governor Edwards.

Gov. Edwards has said he intends to veto the bills.

Both chambers of the Louisiana Legislature passed the bill with veto-proof majorities. However, it’s unclear if lawmakers will attempt to override the governor’s veto.

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