On Monday, March 10, the Louisiana Legislature will convene for its 2014 Regular Session and a large number of bills – both pro-gun and anti-gun – have already been pre-filed. NRA-ILA will be working to pass legislation which expand your rights and to defeat any measures which seek to restrict them – and alerting you as to how you can help every step of the way!
The legislative session is going to be moving rather quickly. Email notifications from NRA-ILA on firearm-related measures are the most timely and effective way to engage NRA members so that they can positively impact the process in Baton Rouge. Please encourage as many fellow Second Amendment supporters as you can to sign up and receive free NRA-ILA legislative alerts by visiting this link.
Of the state legislation to be considered this session, the bills to watch include:
Urge State Lawmakers to Clarify the Right of Carry Permit Holders to Protect Themselves in Restaurants
Debate, surrounding state legislation during the 2013 session and a subsequent Louisiana Attorney General opinion on the issue of off-duty police officers carrying firearms in outlets offering alcoholic beverages, has highlighted a potential conflict between the concealed carry law and another section of criminal law that must be resolved.
Under R.S. 14:95.5, it is unlawful to possess a firearm in any commercial establishment where alcohol is served for consumption on the premises. The only exceptions to this are for owners or employees and law enforcement officers acting in the course of their official duties. Although the concealed carry law clearly states that bars, not restaurants, are off-limits to license holders, another subsection of that statute prohibits permit holders from carrying in any area where firearms are banned under state or federal law. That subsection, read in conjunction with R.S. 14:95.5, is where the potential conflict arises.
It is critical that the state legislature clear up any confusion during this session and confirm that Louisiana is among the 47 states that allow the carrying of firearms for personal protection in restaurants that serve alcohol.
House Bill 72, sponsored by state Representative Joe Lopinto (R-Metairie), and House Bill 20, sponsored by state Representative Jeff Thompson (R-Bossier City), clarify that concealed handgun permit holders may possess firearms in restaurants which serve alcohol. Both bills have been referred to the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee.
Contact information for committee members can be found here – please respectfully urge them to support HB 72 & HB 20.
Senate Bill 68, sponsored by state Senator Bob Kostelka (R-Monroe), mirrors House Bill 72 clarifies that concealed handgun permit holders may possess firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol. SB 68 has been referred to the Senate Judiciary B Committee.
Contact information for committee members can be found here - please respectfully urge them to support SB 68.
Contact Representatives and Senators in Support of Legislation Allowing for the Lawful Use and Ownership of Suppressors
As you know, suppressors are strictly regulated under the National Firearms Act. One must pay a $200 tax to the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (BATFE), submit to an extensive background check that includes fingerprinting, and obtain a "certification" from local law enforcement on the application for an NFA firearm or device. Many Chief Law Enforcement Officers (CLEOs) simply refuse to participate in this process. A measure has been filed to require CLEOs to act on certification of applicants for NFA items, such as suppressors. Without this legislation, individuals who want to legally purchase, own and use these devices can be arbitrarily denied the right to do so. Information on how you can help bring about this necessary reform can be found below.
House Bill 279, sponsored by state Representative Barry Ivey (R-Baton Rouge), requires local law enforcement officers to take action on certification of NFA applications. HB 279 has been referred to the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee.
Contact information for committee members can be found here - urge them to support HB 279.
In 2011, the Louisiana Legislature legalized the use of lawfully-owned suppressors for hunting non-game nuisance quadrupeds. Now is time for Louisiana to join the 28 other states which allow the use of these devices for hunting game animals. Suppressors help prevent hearing loss, mitigate noise complaints, and can increase the safety and enjoyment of the sport for both experienced and novice hunters. Two measures aimed at securing this right for Louisiana sportsmen were pre-filed for the 2014 session.
House Bill 186, sponsored by state Representative Cameron Henry (R-Metairie), allows for the use of lawfully-owned suppressors while hunting all game animals. HB 186 has been referred to the House Natural Resources Committee.
Contact information for committee members can be found here – please respectfully urge them to support HB 186.
Senate Bill 212, sponsored by state Senator Rick Ward (R-Port Allen), allows for the use of lawfully-owned suppressors while hunting wild quadrupeds. SB 212 has been referred to the Senate Natural Resources Committee.
Contact information for committee members can be found here – please respectfully urge them to support SB 212.
Let Your Elected Officials Know that You Oppose the Bills Below
Several anti-gun measures were also pre-filed and your state Representative needs to hear from you in opposition to them!
House Bill 13, sponsored by state Representative Austin Badon (D-New Orleans), makes it unlawful for a federal firearm licensed dealer to transfer a firearm without verifying that the purchaser has completed a firearms safety training course.
House Bill 272, sponsored by state Representative Alfred Williams (D-Baton Rouge), authorizes any municipality or parish to institute “gun buyback programs” with no guarantee that taxpayer dollars won’t be used to finance such events and a requirement that any firearms not kept by law enforcement be destroyed.
House Bill 826, sponsored by state Representative Wesley Bishop (D-New Orleans), repeals the “no duty to retreat” portions of the state’s Castle Doctrine law.
Please contact your state Representative and respectfully urge him or her to OPPOSE HB 13, HB 272 and HB 826. Contact information for House members can be found here. If you don’t know who your state Representative is, you can enter your address at this link and the information will be provided to you.