Yesterday, the Louisiana Senate 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. SB 39 has been assigned to the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice.
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 contact members of the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice and respectfully urge them to support SB 39.
House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice:
Representative Ernest D. Wooton (I-105), Chairman
Representative Damon J. Baldone (D-53), Vice Chairman
Representative Roy A. Burrell (D-2)
Representative Mickey James Guillory (D-41)
Representative Lowell C. Hazel (R-27)
Representative Dalton W. Honoré (D-63)
Representative Frank A. Howard (R-24)
Representative Walt Leger, III (D-91)
Representative Joseph P. Lopinto III (R-80)
Representative Helena N. Moreno (D-93)
Representative Barbara M. Norton (D-3)
Representative Gary L. Smith, Jr. (D-56)
Representative Charmaine Marchand Stiaes (D-99)
Representative Ricky J. Templet (R-85)
Representative Ledricka Johnson Thierry (D-40)
Representative Mack A. "Bodi" White, Jr. (R-64)