Top law enforcement officials beg legislators not to override concealed carry veto
BATON ROUGE - A crowded room of local law enforcement leaders pleaded for lawmakers not to challenge Governor John Bel Edwards' veto of a bill that would allow Louisiana residents to carry a concealed firearm without a permit.
Among those in attendance were East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, Baton Rouge Police Chief Murphy Paul and other heads of capital area law enforcement agencies. They were unified in opposition to Senator Jay Morris's proposal, which would have allowed anyone who "meets the same eligibility requirements" for a handgun permit to legally carry without that documentation.
"We are not opposed to concealed carry. We are opposed to concealed carry without education and knowledge of when, where, why and how you can use this firearm," said Fabian Blache Sr., executive director of the Chiefs of Police Association.
The news conference Thursday comes as some legislators push for a veto session to challenge the governor's decision to shoot down certain proposals that gained approval in the Louisiana House and Senate. Among the most controversial legislation was a proposed ban on transgender student-athletes in girls sports and the concealed carry law, which was the center of discussion Thursday.
"This poses an exponential threat to every law enforcement officer in the state," Sheriff Sid Gautreaux said. "It's hard enough for us to do our jobs... Can you imagine going into a shooting situation, and you walk in a room and everybody's holding a gun? You're not going to know who the bad guy—who the good guys are."
Ballots from lawmakers which will determine whether the House and Senate move forward with a veto session are due by July 15.