On May 10, the Senate Judiciary B Committee unanimously passed NRA-backed Senate Bill 39. Sponsored by state Senators Eric LaFleur (D-28) and Neil Riser (R-32), this bill would clarify that Louisianans may purchase a long gun in any state, and allow a citizen of any other state to purchase a long gun in Louisiana, so long as both states allow such purchases.
Essentially, SB 39 would remove a provision that became obsolete with the passage of the federal Firearms Owners' Protection Act (FOPA) in 1986. Originally, the federal Gun Control Act banned interstate sales of firearms but contained an exception for long gun transactions occurring between federally licensed dealers (FFLs) and residents of contiguous states. Such sales could occur, moreover, only if “the purchaser’s State of residence permit[ted] such sale or delivery by law.” Thus, states around the country passed provisions specifically allowing their residents to buy long guns from FFLs in contiguous states.
FOPA, however, removed both the contiguous states limitation and the requirement that the purchaser’s state of residence specifically authorize the purchase of long guns. Now, interstate sales of rifles and shotguns can occur between FFLs and residents of any state, as long as “the sale, delivery, and receipt fully comply with the legal conditions of sale in both such States.” Thus, the relevant question isn’t whether a state specifically permits interstate long gun sales, but whether the state has enacted any laws that would prevent them. The NRA supports repealing this antiquated contiguous state provision because it is unnecessary, the “contiguous state” language can be misleading, and because such provisions create the false impression that the right to acquire arms is merely a privilege granted by the state, not a right that some states have taken away from their citizens. In addition, purchasers of any firearm from any gun dealer in every state are subject to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.
Please keep checking your e-mail and our website at www.NRAILA.org for further updates on SB 39 as it makes its way to the Senate floor for consideration.