Louisiana lawmakers review six gun bills, including repealing ‘Stand Your Ground’, loosening NFA regulation

The Louisiana House Committee on Administration of Criminal Justice will consider six gun bills on May 6 that range from repealing the state’s Stand Your Ground law, to circumventing certain federal regulations, to carrying concealed without a permit.

Starting off with the bill furthest down the line, Senate Bill 651, sponsored by Sen. R.L. Bret Allain, has already passed the state Senate, been read by the house and will now be reviewed by the committee. It would authorize certain professions within state and local government — such as reserve officers, legislators, and servants of the court — to carry firearm. In other words, their job descriptions authorizes them to carry a gun.

Specifically, the proposed law will allow an active reserve or auxiliary law enforcement officer to carry a firearm on a school campus or bus while on duty. Additionally, SB 651 allows legislators, officers of the legislature, and servants of the court to carry concealed, as long as they qualify under Peace Officer Standards and Training. However, the bill still prohibits carrying inside of the state capitol building.

The next three bills, all sponsored by Rep. Barry Ivey, would loosen current state laws and certain federal regulations.

House Bill 494 would alter the state’s constitutional gun rights by changing the language so the amendment reads, “right to keep and bear arms includes the right to possess a concealed handgun without any form of permit or license, unless the person is prohibited from possessing a firearm under the laws of Louisiana or the laws of the U.S.”

The second bill, House Bill 519, would remove current federal registration requirements for items that fall under the National Firearms Act for lifetime concealed handgun permit holders. The bill redefines the term “firearm” to include a shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches, and a rifle with a barrel less than 16 inches.

Ivey’s third bill, House Bill 520, forgives permitted concealed carriers who carry in prohibited areas. According to the language, it “excludes Louisiana citizens over the age of 21 from prosecution for carrying a concealed firearm if the firearm is a handgun and the person is not otherwise prohibited from possessing a firearm.”

House Bill 673 would “require seizure of firearms following a domestic violence claim.” Rep. Alfred Williams proposed the bill in late February and it was quickly referred to the committee. According to the language of the bill, law enforcement would be authorized to seize any firearms possessed by the abusing party and hold them for at least 48 hours unless prolonged by a court order.

Lastly, the committee will review House Bill 826, sponsored by Rep. Wesley Bishop. It aims to repeal the “Stand Your Ground” law, specifically attacking provisions regarding justifiable homicide and the use of force or violence in defense. Consequently, it would require a “duty to retreat” when a person faces a threat.

The hearing is scheduled for 9:30 a.m. eastern.