Bill to ban toy guns in schools fails in Louisiana Legislature

A bill that would have banned toy guns from public schools has been withdrawn completely from the Louisiana Legislature.

The Daily Comet reported the proposal, House Bill 43, faced strong opposition from the National Rifle Association and Republican lawmakers and was ultimately withdrawn by its sponsor, Republican Rep. Dodie Horton.

“It just did not sit well,” said Horton.

The bill would have banned from public schools all toy guns, air guns, water guns and anything else that looked “substantially similar” to a real firearm.

Students who brought the toy guns to school would have faced fines of up to $250 and six months in jail for a first offense. Horton said she planned to change the penalties after many complained that elementary school students could have been jailed.

Horton, an NRA member, said she worked with the NRA for about a week and a half but could not come to an agreement with officials of the association, who called her bill an “overreach.”

The bill was originally proposed at the behest of Bossier Parish Sheriff Julian Whittington to help slow the problem of students bringing toy guns to school. Some of the fake guns, Whittington said, look “so real it is scary.”

Despite support from Whittington and Larry Carter, president of the Louisiana Federation of Teachers, Horton ultimately withdrew the bill after the NRA backlash.