This Wednesday, April 2, the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee will hold a public hearing on two NRA-supported measures which seek to clarify that concealed handgun permit holders may possess firearms 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). Also on Wednesday, this House committee will hear a strongly NRA-opposed measure, House Bill 13. Sponsored by state Representative Austin Badon (D-New Orleans), HB 13 would impose a mandatory training requirement on anybody purchasing a firearm.
HB 20 and HB 72 were introduced to resolve a potential conflict between two sections of state law. 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 legislative session and confirm that Louisiana is among the 48 other states that allow for civilians to carry firearms for personal protection in restaurants that serve alcohol.
Anti-gun HB 13 would make it unlawful for a federal licensed firearm dealer to transfer a firearm without verifying that the purchaser has completed a gun safety training course. Louisianans have a fundamental right to own and possess firearms under the Second Amendment and the strongest state right to keep and bear arms constitutional provision in the country. This unnecessary restriction would essentially impose a tax (cost of training) and a waiting period (scheduling a training course) on the exercise of this constitutional right.
Legislation expanding the use of firearm sound suppressors while hunting game continues to move
In 2011, the Louisiana Legislature legalized the use of lawfully-owned suppressors for hunting non-game nuisance quadrupeds. Now it's time for Louisiana to join the majority of 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 for both experienced and novice hunters.
Last week, the state Senate unanimously passed Senate Bill 212, sponsored by state Senator Rick Ward (R-Port Allen). SB 212 is NRA-backed legislation that would allow for the use of lawfully-owned suppressors while hunting wild quadrupeds. Last Wednesday, the House Natural Resources and Environment Committee unanimously passed House Bill 186, sponsored by state Representative Cameron Henry (R-Metairie). HB 186 is NRA-supported legislation that would allow for the use of lawfully-owned suppressors while hunting all game animals. SB 212 now goes to the state House for consideration and HB 186 is scheduled to be debated on the House floor this Wednesday, April 2. Please contact your state Representative and respectfully urge him or her to SUPPORT HB 186.
Contact information for your state Representative can be found here.
To identify your state Representative, visit this link.
The House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee will meet at 9:30 a.m. in Committee Room 6 of the State Capitol. Please make plans to attend the hearing if possible. If you are unable to attend, please use the contact information provided below to call and e-mail committee members and urge them to SUPPORT HB 20 and HB 72, but to OPPOSE HB 13.
* Messages can be left for all state Representatives by calling (225) 342-6945 *
House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee:
Rep. Joe Lopinto (R-Metairie), Chairman
Rep. Helena Moreno (D-New Orleans), Vice-Chairman
Rep. Bryan Adams (R-Gretna)
Rep. Austin Badon (D-New Orleans)
Rep. Terry Brown (I-Colfax)
Rep. Roy Burrell (D-Shreveport)
Rep. Mickey Guillory (D-Eunice)
Rep. Chris Hazel (R-Pineville)
Rep. Valarie Hodges (R-Denham Springs)
Rep. Dalton Honore (D-Baton Rouge)
Rep. Frank Howard (R-Many)
Rep. Terry Landry (D-New Iberia)
Rep. Sherman Mack (R-Livingston)
Rep. Barbara Norton (D-Shreveport)
Rep. Steven Pylant (R-Winnsboro)
Rep. Ebony Woodruff (D-Harvey)