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Louisiana: Gun Control Bills to Be Heard in House Committee

Friday, April 12, 2013

Contact Your State Representative TODAY

Next Wednesday, April 17, the House Committee on the Administration of Criminal Justice will have its first hearing this legislative session at 9:30 am in House Committee Room 6 of the Capitol Building in Baton Rouge.  This Committee will consider a host of firearm legislation, including three egregious anti-gun bills.  Please contact members of the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice TODAY and urge them to OPPOSE House Bill 4, House Bill 141 and House Bill 366.

The following is an overview of the anti-gun legislation to be considered:

House Bill 4, introduced by state Representative Barbara Norton (D-3), would require all firearms to be locked in a container or equipped with a locking mechanism to render the firearm “inoperable.”  Requiring Louisianans to keep their firearms inoperable prohibits immediate use for self-defense and puts responsible gun owners in danger.  This type of regulation was deemed invalid under the Second Amendment in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).  Also, this type of law is unlikely to pass the strict scrutiny standard of review in Louisiana’s strengthened Right to Keep and Bear Arms Amendment.

House Bill 141, introduced by state Representative Austin Badon (D-100), would require Louisianans to acquire and provide proof of firearms training before purchasing any firearm.  This legislation effectively imposes a tax on the exercise of a fundamental right and unnecessarily restricts Louisianans who cannot afford any training courses, but have a right and a need to lawfully possess a firearm.

House Bill 366, introduced by state Representative Mickey Guillory (D-41), would create a crime of reckless discharge of a firearm within 1,000 feet of residential property in an unincorporated or rural area of a parish - in which the discharge does not foreseeably pose a threat to the safety of another human being.  This bill language is so broad that the term “residential property” (defined as “property which is wholly or partly used for or intended to be used for living or sleeping by human occupants”) could include an enormous state forest with a campsite.  Under this proposed law, the new restricted zone would include the furthest reaches of the property from the place used for camping, plus an additional 1,000 feet.  As such, an individual could be miles and miles away from the described camp site, be unaware of its existence, and the “recklessness” could arise from the disregard of the fact that an individual might hit a billboard or some other “interest” that has no direct relation to someone’s safety – if it occurs within the new restricted zone.  State law already allows parishes to regulate the discharge of firearms and provides penalties for individuals recklessly discharging firearms.

Please contact members of the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice TODAY and urge them to OPPOSE HB 4, HB 141, and HB 366.  Committee member contact information can be found by clicking here.

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