While riots grip most of the news cycle, there’s still governing to do elsewhere. Most lawmakers can’t really do anything about the riots except make a speech and possibly inflame the situation even worse than it already is. For many, it’s probably best they just keep their head down and do their jobs.
In Louisiana, it looks like they’re doing just that.
After all, they just sent four pro-gun bills to the governor’s desk.
With most of the focus being on COVID-19’s impact on small businesses, Louisiana’s budget, and tort reform, it may have been easy to forget that there were actually four gun bills seeking passage in the shortened Legislative Session.
But, they all made it through – most with super majority vote of both chambers – and are headed to Governor John Bel Edwards’ desk for his signature.
“All four are strong pro-gun rights bills that strengthen Louisiana citizens’ Second Amendment rights,” says Chairman of the House Republican Delegation and competitive shooting champion Rep. Blake Miguez (R-Erath). “The bills protect our freedom in times of uncertainty and emergency, including during the current Covid-19 outbreak.”
- House Bill 781, sponsored by Rep. Blake Miguez, establishes that firearms and ammunition manufacturers, distributors, wholesalers, suppliers, and retailers are “Essential Businesses” that shall not be prohibited from conducting business during a declared disaster or emergency. HB 781 further prevents law-abiding gun owners’ rights from being infringed during proclaimed curfews.
- House Bill 140, sponsored by Rep. Blake Miguez, prevents local authorities and municipalities from imposing restrictions to prohibit the possession of a firearm. Preemption legislation is designed to stop municipalities from creating a patchwork of different laws that turn a law-abiding citizen into a criminal for simply crossing a jurisdictional line.
- House Bill 746, sponsored by Rep. Ray Garofalo, allows those who lawfully possess a firearm to carry concealed for self-defense during a mandatory evacuation under a declared state of emergency or disaster.
- House Bill 334, sponsored by Reps. Bryan Fontenot, Blake Miguez and Charles Owen, authorizes a concealed handgun permit holder to carry a concealed handgun in a church, synagogue, mosque, or other similar place of worship.
With most passing with a supermajority, it likely won’t matter whether the governor vetos them or not.
However, Edwards is generally described as a fairly rare species, the pro-gun Democrat. There’s a chance he’d sign all four regardless of how much of an edge they had. Yet now, it seems likely he’ll do it anyway, just because no one wants their veto overridden by the legislature.
That’s good news for Louisianans. All of these laws make it just a bit safer for them to go about their lives, even if they don’t carry themselves. After all, armed citizens are like herd immunity for crime. The more who carry, the safer those who don’t carry actually are.
We’ll have to wait and see to make sure the governor signs these bills, of course, because he is a Democrat and who knows what kind of thinking he may undergo right about now. Still, it looks promising for folks in Louisiana.