The Louisiana chapters of Moms Demand Action and Students Demand Action, both part of Everytown for Gun Safety’s grassroots network, released the following statement after the Louisiana House of Representatives voted yesterday to advance multiple reckless gun bills, including HB 37, a dangerous permitless carry bill that would dismantle Louisiana’s concealed carry permitting system, and HB 43, a nullification bill that would risk undermining the efforts of state and local leaders trying to keep their communities safe. Law enforcement, faith leaders, local leaders, and gun safety advocates testified against HB37 in the House Administration of Criminal Justice Committee last week.
“Why are our lawmakers so hellbent on passing policies that will make our families and communities less safe?” asked Angelle Bradford, a volunteer with the Louisiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “It’s an absolute disgrace that our state has the highest rate of gun violence in the country, but unfortunately, our leaders are too busy pandering to the gun lobby to feel ashamed of the violence they continue to enable. Louisiana needs real gun safety solutions, and these policies are just the opposite.”
Permitless carry is a dangerous policy that has been staunchly opposed by law enforcement across Louisiana and the country. Removing the state’s concealed carry permitting system would take a vital tool away from law enforcement as they work to ensure a person carrying a gun in public isn’t a criminal with a dangerous history. At the same time, nullification laws threaten to prevent state and local officials from assisting with the enforcement of federal gun laws, undermining their public safety benefits. Efforts to pass both permitless carry and nullification were defeated last session after strong opposition from key community leaders and public safety stakeholders.
At a time of rising gun violence, the last thing Louisiana needs is additional barriers to gun violence prevention. Louisiana has weaker firearm laws than most other states, scoring only 20 out of 100 for gun law strength while maintaining the highest rate of gun violence in the United States. In an average year, 1,036 people are killed by guns in the state and 4,397 more are wounded. Louisiana bears the highest societal cost of gun violence in the nation at $1,793 per person each year. More information about gun violence in Louisiana is available here.