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Bill proposed for upcoming special session would allow concealed carry without training, permit

2 months 4 weeks 2 days ago Friday, February 23 2024 Feb 23, 2024 February 23, 2024 5:23 PM February 23, 2024 in News
Source: WBRZ

BATON ROUGE - One of the bills set to be discussed at the upcoming special session to address crime would remove the permit requirement to own and carry a gun for anyone over 18. 

Lawmakers say passing this bill is part of a strategy to address crime in the state, but not everyone at the Capitol is on board. 

The House and Senate both have bills addressing constitutional carry, the right for any law-abiding citizen over 18 to own and carry a concealed gun without a permit. State Sen. Blake Miguez authored legislation to lower the age restriction to owning a firearm and remove concealed carry permits. He says removing restrictions to access guns puts people on an even playing field with criminals.

"We're competing now to be the 28th state to pass constitutional carry," Miguez said.

Should the bill pass, it would also remove the requirement to document gun owners' fingerprints. State Rep. C. Denise Marcelle says that stipulation would hurt police investigations. 

"Look at the people who are doing the shootings like at [Joel Olsteen's church], like [at the] Kansas City parade [Wednesday]," Marcelle said, referencing recent shootings. "When you have people start carrying weapons, I believe that hinders law enforcement. If you don't see it, you're not going to know that until they pull it out."

In past years, constitutional carry legislation did not pass when it hit the governor's desk. That may change with someone new in the chair. 

Miguez says this time he's hopeful, especially with Gov. Jeff Landry backing the bills, but says training and safety is still a necessity.

"Being a competitive shooter myself and in the firearm industry, gun owners should advocate for firearm safety, and we should encourage safety training," Miguez said.

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