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 Senate voted to sustain Governor Edwards’ veto of SB 118, a dangerous permitless carry bill that would have allowed 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 all testified against permitless carry. Volunteers with Moms Demand Action also testified, and they contacted their representatives hundreds of times to urge them to reject permitless carry.
“Louisiana lawmakers stood up to the NRA’s extreme agenda today, and Louisianans are safer for it,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “Moms Demand Action volunteers worked day-in, day-out to protect their communities from permitless carry, and today’s vote shows that our hard work is paying off. No one should be allowed to carry a concealed, loaded handgun in public with no background check, no safety training, and no questions asked.”
“We’re glad that enough of our lawmakers stood up for public safety today and rejected the NRA’s extreme permitless carry agenda,” said Angelle Bradford, a volunteer with the Louisiana chapter of Moms Demand Action. “And we’re so grateful to the law enforcement leaders, mayors, faith leaders, and community advocates who joined us in making our voices heard against this deadly bill.”
As reported by The Advocate and WBRZ, earlier this month, 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 concealed carry without training 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 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.