Louisiana Lawmakers Reject Second Attempt to Water Down Constitutional Carry

AP Photo/Gerald Herbert

House Republicans in Baton Rouge have shot down the latest attempt to revise the state's Constitutional Carry bill ahead of it's July 4th effective date. On Monday, the House took up HB 627, which would have lawful concealed carry within 100 feet of any parade route or permitted demonstration, and quickly rejected the proposal from New Orleans Democrat Mandie Landry. 


Though the vote was mostly among party lines, several Republicans voted in support of the bill. That included Rep. Chad Boyer of Breaux Bridge who also supported it in committee.

Boyer said he worked Mardi Gras as a state trooper and that “it’s hard to understand what you face every single day that you’re there.” He said he agreed with Landry that the bill would help protect law enforcement along the route. 

“I always said that I would do everything that I possibly could to make sure that gentleman that is standing in that back door right now in that blue uniform can go home safe to his family,” he said.

I appreciate Boyer's concern for law enforcement, but let's be clear here: as one of the primary sponsors of Constitutional Carry pointed out, most violent criminals don't give a damn whether or not they're allowed to carry a firearm in a particular place, or even if they're allowed to legally possess a gun at all.  

Rep. Danny McCormick, a consistent opponent of gun limit, said he didn’t believe in parade route restrictions for “law-abiding citizens.” He said the permitless concealed carry law doesn’t apply to felons, and that a person who wanted to commit a crime with a gun would do so anyway.

“I don’t know why those law-abiding citizens are a threat,” McCormick said.

“It’s the gun that’s the threat,” Landry replied.


For the anti-gunners, it's always the hardware that's the problem, and never the evil intentions inside someone's heart. 

I confess that I'm pleasantly surprised to see Landry's bill go down in flames. After it passed out of the House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice I figured that this new "gun-free zone" had a decent chance of becoming law. New Orleans officials have been demanding a much larger carve-out to Constitutional Carry that would have required concealed carry permits in the entirety of the French Quarter and much of the downtown business district, but a bill to that effect was gutted by its Republican sponsor last week. Landry's legislation was billed as a "reasonable" compromise by supporters, but now that the bill has been defeated, get ready for those same officials to ratchet up their fearmongering. 

“Mardi Gras is one of the most packed and unique events in the world,” she told Gambit in a statement following Monday's vote. “To put the one million visitors and law enforcement in danger because of politics is unconscionable.”

Give me a break. Even under the current law we've seen acts of violence around Mardi Gras. This year three women were shot in the French Quarter, allegedly by a 23-year-old who was later caught in Georgia, and in 2023 a 21-year-old was arrested and charged with second-degree murder after five people were shot, one of them fatally, during the Krewe of Bacchus parade. It's entirely possible that there will be future acts of violence surrounding Mardi Gras, but that doesn't mean that Constitutional Carry will be to blame. Once again, it comes back to the individuals who are perpetrating these crimes, not a law that respects the right to bear arms in self-defense. 


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