The 2014 Regular Session of the Louisiana Legislature concluded yesterday, with NRA members enjoying significant victories with the passage and enactment of pro-Second Amendment legislation along with defeat of all restrictive gun control measures. Your phone calls and e-mails made the difference throughout the legislative process!
Governor Bobby Jindal (R) has already signed the following NRA-supported bills into law, all of which will take effect on August 1:
House Bill 72, sponsored by state Representative Joe Lopinto (R-Metairie) and state Senator Bob Kostelka (R-Monroe), solves a conflict between the state concealed carry law and a separate criminal statute to clarify that concealed handgun permit holders may possess firearms in restaurants that serve alcohol. Louisiana will now join the 49 other states that allow some form of carry for personal protection in these establishments.
House Bill 186/Senate Bill 212, sponsored by state Representative Cameron Henry (R-Metairie) and state Senator Rick Ward (R-Port Allen), will allow for the use of lawfully-owned suppressors while hunting game animals. Louisiana now joins the majority of other states which allow firearm sound suppressors to be used for taking game. Suppressors help prevent hearing loss, mitigate noise complaints and can increase accuracy for both experienced and novice hunters.
House Bill 1066, sponsored by state Representative Jeff Thompson (R-Bossier City) and state Senator Neil Riser (R-Columbia), makes technical changes to the state's concealed carry law which should qualify Louisiana permit holders for an exemption from the NICS check when purchasing a firearm from a federal firearm licensed dealer. Carry permit holders in 21 other states -- including the neighboring states of Arkansas, Mississippi and Texas -- currently enjoy this exemption. Note: Although this law takes effect on August 1, the federal Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms & Explosives (BATFE) must still review the statute changes and qualify the state for NICS alternative status.
While it has not yet been signed into law, House Bill 1112, sponsored by state Representative Sherman Mack (R-Livingston) and state Senator Dale Erdey (R-Livingston), would create a special prestige NRA license plate.
Also this session, significant anti-gun measures were defeated thanks in large part to heavy contact from gun owners and sportsmen in opposition to these misguided proposals, including:
House Bill 13, sponsored by state Representative Austin Badon (D-New Orleans), would have made it unlawful for a federal firearm licensed dealer to transfer a firearm without verifying that the purchaser had completed a firearms safety training course.
House Bill 826, sponsored by state Representative Wesley Bishop (D-New Orleans), would have repealed the “no duty to retreat” portions of the state’s Castle Doctrine law.
House Bill 1189, sponsored by anti-gun state Representative Barbara Norton (D-Shreveport), would have made it a crime to intentionally expose children age ten and under to firearms that were not locked in a container or equipped with a locking device.
Early in the legislative session we reported on House Bill 272, sponsored by state Representative Alfred Williams (D-Baton Rouge). As introduced, this measure authorized any municipality or parish to institute “gun buyback programs” with no guarantee that taxpayer dollars would not be used to finance such events and a requirement that any firearms not kept by law enforcement be destroyed. Thanks to a House floor amendment by state Representative Jeff Thompson (R-Bossier City), the use of taxpayer dollars will be prohibited for these events and law enforcement will be able to sell any firearms collected at public auction. HB 272 has been sent to Governor Jindal for his consideration and action.
NRA-ILA thanks the officers and members of our state affiliate, the Louisiana Shooting Association, for their work and support during this legislative session covering committee hearings and offering proponent and opponent testimony as needed. For information on how you can join LSA, please visit www.louisianashooting.com.