BATON ROUGE – 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 after lawmakers in the Louisiana House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee advanced SB 118, a dangerous permitless carry bill that would allow people to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public without a background check or any safety training, dismantling Louisiana’s culture of responsible gun ownership. The Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police, Louisiana Municipal Association, Louisiana Interchurch Conference, and Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops testified against permitless carry.
“Louisianans from all walks of life, including law enforcement officers, veterans, faith leaders, and more support our permitting system,” said Angelle Bradford, a volunteer with the Louisiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “It’s beyond me why our lawmakers are ignoring us and jeopardizing public safety to advance this dangerous permitless carry bill.”
Last week, local officials, faith leaders, racial justice advocates, and gun safety advocates held a press conference to share their opposition to permitless carry. In a powerful op-ed, Lt. Col. Tammy Savoie called on lawmakers to reject dangerous permitless carry legislation, referencing her 38 years of service in the U.S. Air Force and the comprehensive firearm safety training she received. The editorial board of The Advocate also came out against permitless carry, calling it “a reckless recipe for more gun violence.” Polls continue to show that 8 in 10 Louisianans support the permitting system.
What to know about permitless carry in Louisiana:
- Permitless carry legislation, like HB 16, HB 596, and SB 118, would strip the state of essential permitting and training standards for carrying concealed guns in public. It would allow people to carry concealed, loaded handguns in public without a background check or any safety training, dismantling Louisiana’s culture of responsible gun ownership.
- Permitless would take away a critical tool law enforcement uses to differentiate between responsible gun owners and those who are prohibited from possessing guns or carrying them in public.
- Permitless carry would also allow people with dangerous histories – including extremists and white supremacists with criminal histories – to evade background check requirements and safeguards that ensure responsible gun ownership.
- More information about permitless carry is available here.
What to know about gun violence in Louisiana:
- In Louisiana, on average, 990 people are shot and killed with a gun every year; Louisiana has the fourth highest rate of gun deaths in the U.S. and the second-highest rate of gun homicide.
- Each year, 4,397 people are wounded by guns in Louisiana and Louisiana has the highest rate of gun injuries in the US.
- At an average cost of $1,793 per person each year, Louisiana has the highest per person cost of gun violence in the US.
Statistics about gun violence in Louisiana are available here, and Everytown’s Gun Law Navigator – which shows how Louisiana gun laws compare to those of other states – is available here. If you have questions, or to request an interview with a volunteer from Louisiana Moms Demand Action, please don’t hesitate to reach out.