Louisiana Legislature Approves Constitutional Carry

AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

Is President Joe Biden good for gun rights? We know damn good and well that the president doesn’t support them, yet it seems his presidency has yielded some interesting pro-gun benefits. For example, a number of states have passed constitutional carry throughout the nation since he took office earlier this year.

It’s almost like Biden’s mere existence has kicked politicians in the kiester.

Now, Louisiana’s legislature has passed constitutional carry as well.

The Louisiana Senate gave final passage Tuesday to a proposal to let state residents carry a concealed firearm without a permit or training.

Senate Bill 118 by Sen. Jay Morris, a West Monroe Republican, now heads to Gov. John Bel Edwards, a Democrat who generally favors gun rights but is expected to veto the bill.

SB 118 would apply to adults who are at least age 21 and have not been convicted of a felony or violent crime. Morris’ bill retains the prohibition against carrying a concealed gun while under the influence of alcohol or drugs. Concealed carriers still would be required to disclose they have a weapon and submit to a search when asked by law enforcement, which would have the right to disarm the carriers.

Supporters of the change argue law-abiding citizens have a constitutional right to carry concealed weapons without the government’s permission unless there is a compelling reason to stop them from doing so. Opponents argue requiring training and a permit to carry a concealed firearm is an appropriate safeguard for the public and for law enforcement that falls under the Second Amendment’s call for a “well regulated Militia.”

Senators voted 27-9 to concur with the House amendments, which included a requirement for state police to offer a voluntary 60-minute online concealed handgun education course.

Of course, I wouldn’t get too excited. Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards isn’t a fan of the bill and he’s likely to veto it unless there’s been some wheeling and dealing is taking place. As noted in the quote above, Bel Edwards generally backs gun rights despite being a Democrat, so it’s possible the legislature could be trying to negotiate something he wants in exchange for constitutional carry.

I just wouldn’t bet my life on it.

It’s a shame, too, because contrary to what many people seem to think, constitutional carry doesn’t make anyone less safe. Quite the contrary, actually, because it allows people who find their life may be threatened to begin carrying immediately rather than having to jump through all the hoops of getting a permit, especially in a state where there’s a training requirement.

Something else we should note is that while a training requirement may no longer be required if this bill makes it onto the books, a lot of people are still going to seek out training. No one wants to get arrested for doing something wrong, after all, so they’re going to seek out education in how to handle their firearm.

This is just how it goes and we’ve seen it happen time and time again.

Still, we’ll have to see if something happens and this bill gets signed or not.