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Constitutional carry has an encore before the state legislature

Constitutional Carry has an encore before the state legislature
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 6:40 PM CDT
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BATON ROUGE, La. (WAFB) - A bill that cleared a House committee Tuesday, April 12, 2022, would allow adults to conceal carry a firearm without a permit or training.

“People can already open carry without a permit or any kind of training, there’s no instances. Honest, law-abiding citizens are responsible with their rights,” said State Rep. Danny McCormick (R).

Rep. McCormick, a Republican from Caddo Parish, said he is all for the training, but does not believe you should have to pay for what is already given to you under the constitution.

Current law states that you need to take a concealed carry course, which can cost a couple hundred dollars and take up a full day to complete. You also need to apply for a permit from state police. Similar attempts were made last year around this and were successful until the governor vetoed the bills. It is now getting another shot, likely making it a hot-button issue for the governor’s race.

“You bet, 25 states have constitutional carry, Louisiana doesn’t. Every state that touches Louisiana has constitutional carry, we don’t. The next governor needs to be for constitutional carry, he needs to be able to put his name on it before he gets elected,” Rep. McCormick added.

Rep. C. Denise Marcelle (D) was one of the lawmakers who voted against the bill this morning. She said her biggest issue is taking away the education around guns and the negative consequences it could have for young adults.

“I do not like allowing people to carry guns without permits, without education. And so, he’s removing that from it. It allows people to carry concealed. I think it’s detrimental to public safety and law enforcement and that’s why I voted against it,” Rep. Marcelle explained.

Rep. Marcelle suggested the age be raised from 18 to 21. The committee agreed to the change but that still did not gain her vote. Leaders with state police also showed up to speak in opposition.

“The state police did testify, they were concerned about the training, that was their issue. But, the sheriffs were neutral on the bill,” Rep. McCormick continued.

Louisiana is already known for being an open-carry state without a permit. Those in support noted criminals do not seek a permit for concealed carry, arguing this bill would even the playing field between law-abiding citizens and those who break the law. There is still a long road ahead for this bill before it is in the clear. But, if last year taught us anything, it likely will not have a hard time making it to the governor again.

Related: Senate bill allowing La. citizens to carry concealed handguns without a permit passes House committee

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