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 Senate Judiciary C Committee voted to advance HB 37, dangerous permitless carry legislation to remove the state’s permitting requirement for carrying a concealed handgun in public. The vote comes despite fervent opposition from a number of key public safety stakeholders, including law enforcement officers, faith leaders, local leaders, and advocates.
“Louisiana lawmakers are once again demonstrating where their loyalty really lies,” said Angelle Bradford, a volunteer with the Louisiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “They continue to choose the gun lobby over the people of Louisiana who have made it clear that permitless carry has no place in our state. We are in the middle of a gun violence crisis, and state lawmakers need to start acting like it. Our communities cannot continue to shoulder the weight of their cowardice.”
The push to pass permitless carry was defeated last session when Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards vetoed it. The Louisiana Association of Chiefs of Police, Louisiana Municipal Association, Louisiana Interchurch Conference, and Louisiana Conference of Catholic Bishops all testified against the policy. Volunteers with Moms Demand Action also testified, and they contacted their representatives hundreds of times to urge them to reject permitless carry.
Louisiana has weak gun laws and the highest rate of gun violence in the United States. The concealed carry permitting system is the state’s only remaining foundational gun safety law, and removing it will only enable more gun violence in the state. Research has shown that states that have weakened their firearm permitting system experienced a 13 percent increase in violent crime rates and an 11 percent increase in handgun homicide rate.
In an average year, 1,036 people die by guns in Louisiana, and 4,397 more are wounded. Guns are the leading cause of death for children and teens in the state. More information on gun violence in Louisiana is available here.