Author of Louisiana Constitutional Carry bill says GOP leadership to blame for its demise

AP Photo/Lisa Marie Pane

Even though Louisiana’s Democratic governor Jon Bel Edwards is staunchly opposed to constitutional carry, there was a decent chance that the measure would be enacted over his objections this year thanks to the veto-proof majority Republicans enjoy in both the state House and Senate. At least, that’s the way it looked when HB 131 sailed through the House a couple of weeks ago.


But instead of sending the legislation on to the floor of the Senate, Republican lawmakers added so many poison pill amendments to the bill that author and state Rep. Danny McCormick ended up pulling the bill from consideration late Tuesday, killing the prospects of constitutional carry for the year… and perhaps beyond.

Amendments proposed Tuesday by the committee would have let people carry concealed weapons only if they took education courses and were entered in a state database to show completion of those courses.

“My supporters wouldn’t want any required training or a government list that their name would go on,” McCormick told the committee.

A hardline Second Amendment advocate, McCormick has proposed what he calls the “constitutional carry” bill in previous sessions of the Legislature. He argues that the U.S. Constitution upholds the right to carry concealed firearms, and that Louisiana’s current laws take away that right.

McCormick sent an email to supporters not long after he pulled the bill, and as the website The Hayride reports, the Republican is blaming GOP leadership for the legislation’s untimely demise. Here’s a small portion of his email, but you can read it in its entirety here:

As soon as Constitutional Carry hit the State Senate, Senators began to gut it.  Here are just a few of the changes these anti-gunners stuffed into Constitutional Carry-

  • Created a second-class citizenship, which is unconstitutional under the 14th Amendment, changing the age to exercise the 2nd Amendment from 18 to 21.
  • Put hamstrings on where and how the people could bear arms.
  • Demanded that anyone who carries also carry a Government issued ID at all times.  So, if you had left your wallet or purse in your car, well, felony charges would follow.
  • Forced law-abiding citizens, who have committed no crime, to inform law enforcement if they are carrying, creating a tense and dangerous situation with any interaction with police officers.
  • And the list goes on, clearly infringing on your Right to Keep and Bear Arms as the 2nd Amendment demands.

Finally, the Ugly- Realizing the State Senate was not going to pass Constitutional Carry, but rather some watered down, crumb from their table, I was forced to pull my Bill.  The last thing I want to see is a bunch of anti-gun politicians crowing about how they passed ‘Constitutional Carry’, when in fact all they did was place more infringements on your rights as protected by the 2nd Amendment.

But it gets worse.

Realizing that the State Senate was bowing to the Governor and his anti-gun agenda, I had a final play to make.  The State Senate had already passed Senate Bill 130.  This Bill gives retired law enforcement officers Constitutional Carry, but not you and me.

So, when Senate Bill 130 came up in the State House, I moved to amend it to change it from just retired law enforcement officers to all law-abiding people in the State of Louisiana.

This is where it really got Ugly.

Teaming with the anti-gunners, State Representatives and even the Speaker of the House refused to allow even a vote on this amendment.  Clearly, they were happy to allow the State Senate to amend and gut Constitutional Carry, but not allow me to amend a State Senate Bill to force the passage of Constitutional Carry in Louisiana!

If you don’t believe, please click on this link to watch the anti-gunners declare my amendment not ‘germane.’  This means they claimed that my amendment had nothing to do with the bill!  Really?  Their Bill gave only a special class of people Constitutional Carry while my amendment would make it apply to all law-abiding citizens as the Constitution requires.

This was the last chance to pass true Constitutional Carry and these anti-gun politicians showed that they really didn’t support the 2nd Amendment. Even more, this showed that their previous vote to pass it was nothing more that grandstanding for votes in the upcoming State Election.


As McCormick notes, Louisiana has elections coming up this fall, with every constitutional office on the ballot. Did the GOP leadership allow his bill to pass the House in order to provide some cover or talking points for Republican candidates while trying to kill it in the Senate to take a controversial topic off the table in the general election? It sure looks that way, and if that’s truly the reason why Louisiana won’t become the 28th constitutional carry state it was a moronic move on the part of leadership. Instead of invigorating gun owners and giving them a reason to turn out in support of Republicans this November, some gun owners are going wonder why they should bother to go to the polls and cast a vote for a politician who’ll merely pay lip service to their Second Amendment rights.

Given the anti-2A hostility of the Democratic Party, I can’t argue in good faith that gun owners should just stay home on Election Day to punish Republicans for their squishiness, but I don’t think they should be rewarded either. The filing deadline for legislative primaries isn’t until August, however, and every Republican who voted to fill McCormick’s bill with poison pill amendments and/or blocked his attempt to include true constitutional carry language in the bill giving retired law enforcement the ability to carry without a government permission slip should face a challenge by someone truly committed to protecting and strengthening our Second Amendment rights. Our elected officials should have to earn our votes, and those responsible for the untimely demise of constitutional carry need to be held accountable by their constituents for their inexplicable actions.



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