Judge rules city ordinance violates 2nd Amendment
BATON ROUGE - A federal judge ruled Monday that a Baton Rouge ordinance which makes it illegal to have guns at a bar or liquor store violates the Second Amendment.
Chief Judge Brian Jackson also ordered city police to no longer enforce the measure, which was passed in 1951.
Baton Rouge Police arrested Ernest Taylor using the statute on Oct. 13, 2012. Taylor's lawyer, Terrence Donahue Jr., said his client had parked in front of the Dollar General across from Romeo's Lounge on Plank Road before going into the lounge. When he left, Donahue said Taylor didn't have his vehicle lights on and officers stopped his vehicle.
Donahue said the officers put Taylor in handcuffs, even though they told him he wasn't under arrest, and told him they were searching the car. Donahue said his client told officers he legally had guns in the back and glovebox of the car, but police arrested him using the city statute.
Taylor's attorney sued, and said officers still have not returned his client's guns. He's also seeking more than $100,000 in damages. Judge Jackson set a hearing for Oct. 23 to determine damages in the case.
Members of the Metro Council have considered revoking the ordinance at recent meetings.A state law passed in 2008 also contradicts the city ordinance, stating that people who legally have guns can keep them locked in their vehicle in any parking lot or garage.
Monday, the Baton Rouge Police Department released a statement saying, "At the time of the arrest of Ernest Taylor, the ordinance was on the books....even though the judge has determined the ordinance to be unconstitutional, we have already had 13:95.3 repealed."
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