The House Criminal Justice Committee shot down a bill that would have allowed Louisiana residents to conceal carry a gun without a permit. The bill was killed on a 8-5 vote, despite numerous people speaking for the legislation.

Dr. Kenneth Flaming of Louisiana Carry says it can take up to a year to take the class, gather the paperwork, submit the application, and receive a permit. He adds it can cost between $300 and $500 to get a concealed carry permit.

“It’s sad to say, but many times it’s the citizens that are least able to afford to go through this process are the ones who might need it the most,” Flaming said.

Jimmy Williams of Louisiana Carry also support the measure. He says a law like this would not put guns in the hands of more criminals because criminals don’t abide by laws anyway. He adds requiring a permit gives lawbreaking criminals the upper hand.

“We’re not asking to allow criminals to be armed. They already are. People who have no regard for the law do not pay attention to the law to begin with. The only people who are going to abide by this law are the people willing to,” Williams said.

Cissy Rowley with Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America opposes the bill. Rowley was one of 9 people shot in a Lafayette movie theater on July 23, 2015. She says without the permit requirement, gun owners could carry their weapons concealed with little or no training.

“That would mean that people carrying loaded concealed handguns at the grocery store or other places I frequent with my family would no longer have to be trained or vetted. They may never have even fired a gun before,” Rowley said.

Rowley adds these people will also be less familiar with Louisiana gun laws and where they can and cannot carry a weapon. She says the permitting process is also needed to vet people who should not be concealed carrying a firearm.

“Just last year over 900 permits were revoked or denied. Our permit system helps stop people who shouldn’t from carrying, and we should respect that,” Rowley said.