The 2023 Louisiana legislative session kicked off earlier today in Baton Rouge, and a constitutional carry bill introduced by Rep. Danny McCormick looks to be one of the top priorities for GOP lawmakers. Despite the objections of Gov. John Bel Edwards, who previously vetoed a similar measure back in 2020, McCormick says he’s confident that the votes are there to override the governor’s veto this time around; something that failed to happen back in 2021 when a handful of supporters ended up defecting or missing the override vote completely.
A lot has changed in the statehouse since then, including the political bombshell that dropped last month when longtime Rep. Francis Thompson ended 50+ years of allegiance to the Democratic Party and announced that going forward he would be caucusing with Republicans. With Thompson, the GOP now has a veto-proof majority in both chambers of the legislature for the first time in state history, and that has McCormick and other supporters of constitutional carry feeling highly optimistic about Louisiana joining the ranks of the 26 other permitless or constitutional carry states this year.
“The question is why don’t we trust law-abiding citizens with their Second Amendment Rights?” McCormick said.
It will be the fourth time McCormick has carried the measure, which cleared the House easily last year before it stalled in the Senate in the aftermath of the Uvalde, Texas, school shooting where a gunman killed 19 children and two adults.
This year’s bill will be debated in the wake of the most recent school shooting in Nashville where three children and three adults were killed last month.
A murderous and cowardly act that had nothing to do with constitutional carry, obviously. Still, this won’t be the last attempt by anti-gun media and their legislative allies to conflate the fundamental right to bear arms in self-defense with the actions of violent criminals and mass murderers. We’ve already seen plenty of similarly ham-handed efforts from the likes of California’s Gavin Newsom, who claimed on MSNBC over the weekend that Florida’s new permitless carry law will allow violent criminals to carry guns without a background check.
.@GavinNewsom on Gov. Ron DeSantis signing a permitless concealed carry bill into law at a nonpublic event in his office: He’s “scared to death.”@jrpsaki: “Who’s he scared of?”
Newsom: “Scared of the people.” pic.twitter.com/JkmntocikA
— Inside with Jen Psaki (@InsideWithPsaki) April 9, 2023
Unlike California, of course, where the state’s “universal” background check law, 10-day waiting period, and draconian carry laws have completely thwarted criminals from getting ahold of a gun. Well, except for this guy. And this guy. And this guy.
Actually, it looks to me like none of California’s gun laws are doing much to stop prohibited persons from illegally acquiring a firearm, though they’re doing a bang-up job of preventing average residents from being able to carry in self-defense.
The truth is that while permitless carry won’t make violent crime a thing of the past, it doesn’t automatically lead to anarchy in the streets or an uncontrollable crime wave. Last year, for instance, Ohio adopted its own constitutional carry law. Gun control activists swore that Ohio would become a more dangerous place as a result, but that’s not been borne out by reality. In Toledo, the last gun-involved homicide took place more than two months ago, and the city is on pace to show dramatic improvement from the number of murders in recent years. In 2021 the city had 71 homicides, and another 66 took place last year. We’re nearly a third of the way through 2023, and so far Toledo has had just six homicides. That number is likely to dip even lower, since one of the cases is likely to be ruled a justifiable shooting on the part of an armed citizen and another was an officer-involved shooting of a domestic violence suspect who allegedly pointed a gun at responding officers.
These statistics would be virtually impossible if gun control activists were right about the effects of constitutional carry on public safety, which is clearly not the case. We reduce violent crime by focusing on the most violent and prolific offenders and ensuring that there are consequences for their illicit actions, not by criminalizing a fundamental right exercised by tens of millions of Americans across the country, including hundreds of thousands of Louisiana residents. I hope McCormick is right that this will be the year constitutional carry finally comes to the Bayou State, but Louisiana gun owners are going to have to push back against an onslaught of misinformation and fearmongering every step of the way.