BATON ROUGE, L.A. – The Louisiana chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots networks, released the following statement in response to the Louisiana House voting to pass HB 131, a permitless carry bill that would effectively roll back the foundational gun safety policy in Louisiana that requires Louisianans to have a permit to carry a concealed gun and receive training on carrying a concealed firearm in public. This bill has prompted opposition from law enforcement officers in the past as well who consider the bill a threat to public safety, and a significant hurdle to their ability to keep communities safe. The Senate now has a chance to reject this attempt to further endanger their citizens, and instead, take common-sense steps to save lives from gun violence.
“We’re only a little over one month into Louisiana’s legislative session and lawmakers are cruelly prioritizing a bill that will endanger their constituents,” said Angelle Bradford, a volunteer with the Louisiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “There are opportunities to make our state safer by prioritizing funding for life-saving community violence intervention programs, and yet, instead, Louisiana lawmakers are recklessly loosening our gun laws.”
“There is no reason that the top priority in our state should be more guns in more places when we’ve seen the impact of that agenda elsewhere,” said Kylie Anderson, a volunteer with the Louisiana Chapter of Students Demand Action. “All year our lawmakers have watched tragedy after tragedy tear apart communities across the country, yet they are still choosing to reverse what little gun safety protections we have. If they continue down this path, Louisianians will pay the price.”
Louisiana concealed handgun permitting system currently requires training on how to carry firearms responsibly in public. Law enforcement experts, firearm trainers, and military personnel overwhelmingly agree that people who carry concealed weapons in public should take firearm training. For over a century, states have recognized the public safety benefits of requiring a permit to carry concealed guns.
In an average year, 1,125 people die and 2,936 are wounded by guns in Louisiana. Louisiana has the 2nd-highest rate of gun deaths in the US. In Louisiana, 84% of all homicides involve a gun, compared to 78% nationwide. Guns are the leading cause of death among children and teens in Louisiana. More information about gun violence in Louisiana is available here.