Constitutional Amendment Dealing With Gun Rights Passes Louisiana House
A proposed Constitutional amendment to preserve gun ownership and possession rights in Louisiana has passed the Louisiana House. The measure would allow conceal-carry permit holders to have their guns in places not currently permitted, like churches, bars and college campuses.
Representative Chris Broadwater says Senator Neil Riser's measure would help protect gun owners in the state from possible future federal gun controls.
"Senator Riser's amendment will allow our people in the state of Louisiana to express their intention that it is a fundamental/individual right and that it should not be infringed upon any court review and it should require strict scrutiny and analysis."
Broadwater says the federal government's stance on gun ownership could radically change at any time and this bill helps defend Louisianans against that.
But New Iberia Representative Terry Landry feels differently. He feels the bill is less about gun rights and more about right wing extremism.
"I just believe that this bill is not about the citizens of the state of Louisiana. I truly believe this is about an NRA agenda."
Baton Rouge Representative Patricia Smith, who is from a district plagued by gun violence, also opposed the bill.
"My concern is that we're opening the flood gates by not looking at the laws restricting concealed weapons. I don't want to see Louisiana be the Wild, Wild West."
Despite the objections, the measure passed by a 77 to 22 vote and now returns to the Louisiana Senate for amendment concurrence. It would then go to voters on the November 6th ballot.