As reported by The Advocate and WBRZ, yesterday, law enforcement leaders from across Louisiana gathered to hold a press conference urging lawmakers to reject efforts to override Governor Edwards’ veto of dangerous permitless carry legislation which 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. From the press conference:
“This is an absolutely terrible bill, not only for the men and women who wear this badge and serve the public, but it’s a terrible bill for the public as well,” said East Baton Rouge Sheriff Sid Gautreaux, III. “This poses an exponential threat to every law enforcement officer in this state. It’s hard enough for us to do our jobs… Can you imagine going into a shooting situation, and you walk in a room and everybody’s holding a gun? You’re not going to know who the bad guy—who the good guys are.”
“We are not opposed to concealed carry. We are opposed to concealed carry without education and knowledge of when, where, why and how you can use this firearm,” said Fabian Blache Sr., executive director of the Chiefs of Police Association.
Earlier this session, 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 and in support of Governor Edwards’ veto, 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 carry 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 U.S.
- At an average cost of $1,793 per person each year, Louisiana has the highest per person cost of gun violence in the U.S.
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.