Bill to ban letting children use fully automatic guns fails in Louisiana

Louisiana Rep. Barbara Norton, sponsor of House Bill 67. (Photo: Progressives Today)

Louisiana Rep. Barbara Norton, sponsor of House Bill 67. (Photo: Progressives Today)

Lawmakers in the Louisiana House have killed a bill that would have prohibited supplying children 12 years old and younger with a fully automatic firearm.

The Advocate reported the measure — House Bill 67, sponsored by Rep. Barbara Norton, D-Shreveport — was voted down Thursday by the Louisiana House on a 59-21 vote.

The legislation would have made it unlawful for adults to in any way provide children with fully-automatic guns, even in a supervised setting such as a gun range. Under the bill, those who did so could have been fined and possibly given prison time.

Norton was inspired to propose the bill by the story of a 9-year-old Arizona girl who lost control of an Uzi submachine gun at a shooting range and killed her instructor in 2014. Originally, the bill only prohibited providing Uzis to children, but it was amended to cover all fully-automatic firearms.

Rep. Stuart Bishop, R-Lafayette, was one of many opponents of the measure, the Associated Press reported. Bishop argued he worried he could be fined for letting his child handle a paintball gun, which he said may have been considered a fully-automatic weapon under the bill.

Rep. Sherman Mack, R-Livingston, also an opponent of the legislation, argued the bill was not necessary due to current child endangerment laws.

This was the third time Norton has proposed the bill and the third time it has failed.

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