Pro-Gun Bills On The Move In Louisiana

by Vern Evans
Louisiana attorney general Jeff Landry
Louisiana Gov. Jeff Landry

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While lawmakers in many states like Virginia, Colorado and Maine have pushed all sorts of anti-gun measures this spring, those in some states have worked hard to restore or expand gun owners’ rights. And one good example of that is Louisiana.

 

The House of Representatives in the Pelican State recently approved three pro-gun Senate measures and sent them on to Republican Gov. Jeff Landry for his consideration. All three make a significant, needed change that will be positive for the state and for Louisiana firearm owners.

 

One of the measures, Senate Bill 194, would enhance and strengthen the state’s firearms preemption law, which basically keeps municipalities and parishes from passing more restrictive gun laws than those in state law. If signed into law by Gov. Landry, this measure would expands the types of behavior political subdivisions are generally prohibited from regulating, provide standing for both individuals and organizations to seek declaratory and injunctive relief when political subdivisions are in violation and require political subdivisions to repeal any offending ordinances or regulations within six months of the bill’s enactment.

 

“A person or an organization whose membership is adversely affected by any ordinance, order, regulation, policy, procedure, rule or any other form of executive or legislative action promulgated or caused to be enforced in  violation of this Section may file suit against an offending political subdivision in any court of this state having jurisdiction for declaratory and injunctive relief,” the measure states. “A court shall award a prevailing plaintiff in any such suit reasonable attorney fees and costs including expert witness fees and expenses.”

 

This measure would further restrict the authority of local governments to regulate firearms to include their “manufacture, …carrying, …storage, …[and] taxation;” and add “firearm accessories, knives, edged weapons, or any combination thereof” to the preemption statute.

 

Another measure sent to the governor is Senate Bill 214. That measure would create a uniform set of laws for carrying concealed firearms in dining establishments, ensuring lawful citizens have the right to defend themselves and their families in places that serve alcoholic beverages.

 

Yet another measure passed and sent to the governor, Senate Bill 152, makes some technical clarifications for some of the state’s carry statutes. As Gov. Landry is a strong Second Defense defender, he is expected to sign all three measures into law.

 

One other pro-gun measure is still on the move in the Louisiana House of Representatives and is expected to be considered soon in the House Commerce Committee. That bill, Senate Bill 301, would prevent payment processors from using firearm-specific merchant category codes (MCCs), a move that several other states have already passed during this legislative session.

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