Louisiana Considers Constitutional Carry in 2021
U.S.A. –-(AmmoLand.com)- A Louisiana legislator, Danny McCormick, Republican, has filed a Constitutional Carry Bill in the House, HB16. It has a chance of becoming law.
Constitutional Carry is a close approximation of the state of law which existed concerning the carry of weapons when the Second Amendment was ratified in 1791. At that time, no permit was required to carry weapons, either openly or concealed.
The Louisiana legislature has strong Republican majorities in the House and the Senate. 27 – 12 in the Senate, and 68 – 35 in the House, with 2 independents.
Democrat Bel Edwards is governor. He was re-elected in 2019 with 51.3% of the vote, and is term-limited. He will not be able to run in 2023.
Governor Edwards signed three gun law reform bills in 2020. He might be willing to sign a Constitutional Carry bill. Governor Edwards says he takes a backseat to no one in protecting the right to keep and bear arms.
Here is the HB16 summary and sponsors:
AN ACT To amend and reenact R.S. 40:1379.3(B) and to enact R.S. 14:95(M), relative to the illegal carrying of weapons; to exempt certain persons from the crime of illegal carrying of weapons; to provide relative to concealed handgun permits; to provide relative to the authority of a person to carry a concealed handgun without a permit; and to provide for related matters.
Danny McCormick (R)*, Beryl Amedee (R), Larry Bagley (R), Rhonda Butler (R), Mack Cormier (D), Raymond Crews (R), Rick Edmonds (R), Kathy Edmonston (R), Julie Emerson (R), Gabe Firment (R), Larry Frieman (R), Dodie Horton (R), Cazerrick Johnson (D), Mike Johnson (R), Chuck Owen (R), Rodney Schamerhorn (R), Alan Seabaugh (R),
An NRA instructor, Terry Ardizzone, thinks the bill may have a chance of passage.
LAKE CHARLES, La. (KPLC) – A Louisiana State Representative pushes for new legislation on the state’s concealed carry law. The legislation would allow citizens to carry a concealed handgun on them, without needing a permit or firearms safety classes.
Some lawmakers are hoping to jump on board with eighteen other states with “constitutional carry” laws in their books.
“It seems to be the trend around the country right now,” says Terry Ardizzone, an NRA certified instructor. “There were like 9 or ten that had it and then it almost doubled recently here. So I wouldn’t be surprised if it passes and part of that is because there’s a sense that maybe our gun rights are on the verge of being lost.”
Louisiana shall issue concealed carry permit statute is fairly expensive. It costs $125 for the permit, about another hundred or so for the training course required. Total cost for a five-year permit is about $250, including fees for fingerprinting and notary.
This works in favor of Constitutional Carry. The cost shows how much of a barrier the permit is to people of limited means. However, it means some concealed carry permit instructors may believe they have a financial incentive to oppose Constitutional Carry.
Louisiana has always had open carry as a right.
The argument becomes: If I can open carry without a permit, why should I lose that right when I put on a coat?
Louisiana upgraded its State Constitution protection for the right to keep and bear arms in with Amendment 2, passed in 2012 with 73.45% of the vote. From the Louisiana Constitution:
Section 11. The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms is fundamental and shall not be infringed. Any restriction on this right shall be subject to strict scrutiny.
Constitutional Carry is a step toward requiring Louisiana to live up to the promise of Section 11.
Previous Constitutional carry bills have died in the legislature. With Joe Biden as President and Kamala Harris as Vice, the Louisiana legislature may want to pass Constitutional Carry, to show they are in opposition.
If all align correctly, HB16 could make it through the complexity of a legislative session, and pass. It could be signed by Governor Edwards.
The more states pass Constitutional Carry, the more states are likely to pass Constitutional Carry. It has established momentum of its own.
Eighteen states now have Constitutional Carry. Vermont has always had Constitutional Carry. The others are, in order of passage, from 2003 for Alaska to 2021 for Utah and Montana:
Alaska, Arizona, Wyoming, Arkansas, Kansas, Maine, Idaho, Missouri, West Virginia, Mississippi, New Hampshire, North Dakota, South Dakota, Oklahoma, Kentucky, Utah, and Montana.
This graphic shows the progression Constitutional Carry (green) and shall issue permits (blue):
About Dean Weingarten:
Dean Weingarten has been a peace officer, a military officer, was on the University of Wisconsin Pistol Team for four years, and was first certified to teach firearms safety in 1973. He taught the Arizona concealed carry course for fifteen years until the goal of Constitutional Carry was attained. He has degrees in meteorology and mining engineering, and retired from the Department of Defense after a 30 year career in Army Research, Development, Testing, and Evaluation.