gun control BA

Mayor Mitch Landrieu, in partnership with City Councilmembers Jason Rogers Williams and James Gray, and New Orleans Police Department Superintendent Michael Harrison held a press conference this afternoon to announce a new city ordinance aimed at promoting gun safety in New Orleans.

“We want to change the culture of violence into a culture of peace,” said Landrieu.

“Guns harm too many innocent people who are caught in the crossfire,” Landrieu said. “And I believe we have a moral obligation to do everything in our power to fight back, to hold the stream of guns getting into the wrong hands.”

The Gun Safety Ordinance gives new requirements for reporting a lost or stolen gun, make all New Orleans Recreation Development Commission (NORDC) facilities “firearm-free zones,” outlaw guns without serial numbers, prohibit a person convicted of domestic abuse from possessing a gun and criminalize the negligent carrying of a concealed firearm.

However, city leaders are already admitting the steps aren’t ideal, but argue they have to find some way of reducing gun violence.

“If a bad person wants to do a bad thing to someone else, we can’t do much about it, but, what we can do is change the culture, we can get into the hearts and minds of black boys and black young men so they look at this community and this world differently.”

The new requirements listed in The Gun Safety Ordinance are:

  • REPORTING LOST AND STOLEN FIREARMS

The ordinance requires that the owner of a lost or stolen firearm report it to an NOPD officer within 48 hours of discovery. NOPD says this would deter gun trafficking by allowing police to identify potential traffickers based on whether they repeatedly fail to file reports, yet claim their guns were lost or stolen after they are discovered at a crime, or repeatedly report guns lost or stolen.

A first offense will carry a $250 fine and subsequent offenses will carry a $500 fine.

  • POSSESSION OF A FIREARM OR DANGEROUS WEAPON IN A FIREARM-FREE ZONE

State law currently prohibits possession of a firearm or dangerous weapon in a “firearm-free zone,” which includes areas on or within 1,000 feet of a school campus, on a school bus, or at a facility where a school event, such as a prom, is taking place, with some exceptions.

The Gun Safety Ordinance mirrors state law but includes “NORDC campus” within the definition of “firearm-free zone,” which would include all NORDC facilities and any park where NORDC youth programming is offered. Altering or defacing the signs would also violate the ordinance.

Violation would be punished by a $500 fine or six months’ imprisonment.

  • POSSESSION OF OR DEALING IN FIREARMS WITHOUT SERIAL NUMBERS

The ordinance mirrors state law where the possession, sale or purchase of firearms where the serial number has been removed is prohibited. Officials say this would combat trafficking of untraceable firearms.

Violation would be punished by a $500 fine or six months’ imprisonment.

  • POSSESSION OF A FIREARM OR CARRYING A CONCEALED WEAPON BY A PERSON CONVICTED OF DOMESTIC ABUSE BATTERY

State law prohibits a person who has been convicted of domestic abuse battery from possessing a firearm or concealed weapon for 10 years from the conclusion of the sentence or probation for battery. This ordinance mirrors state law but also applies the prohibition to those convicted under the city’s domestic abuse battery law, which is broader in several respects, most notably by including same-sex relationships.

Violation would be punished by a $500 fine or six months’ imprisonment.

  • NEGLIGENT CARRYING OF A CONCEALED FIREARM

This section mirrors state law, which prohibits “negligent carrying of a concealed firearm,” which is defined as carrying a concealed firearm in a way that places others in a reasonable apprehension that it may discharge or that crime is being committed.

Violation would be punished by a $500 fine or six months’ imprisonment.