Rep. Norton withdraws Uzi sub-machine gun bill

Rep. Norton withdraws Uzi sub-machine gun bill

LOUISIANA (KSLA) - In the Louisiana legislature, House Bill 86 was nixed by the same lawmaker who introduced it.

Representative Barbara Norton said she was aiming to keep kids safe when she proposed the bill which would result in a two year prison sentence for anyone who placed an Uzi sub-machine gun in the hands of a child 12-years-old or younger.

But before lawmakers could even hear the legislation, Norton pulled the bill.

Wednesday, Rep. Norton was prepared to introduce the bill to the Committee on Criminal Justice and she began by telling members what motivated her.

“I watch a lot of national news and I saw where they did a breaking news where a 12-year-old girl was out training,” Norton said.

She was referring to the news from Arizona last summer. That's where a gun instructor was fatally shot while showing a young girl how to shoot a sub-machine gun at a gun range.

Norton claimed that she had received numerous calls in support of her bill.

“I want you all to know I still love you all, I'm going to submit this for a study and come back on it next year,” said Norton.

Then Norton could be heard telling the committee "no questions." 

A committee member could be heard saying he had received several calls in opposition to the bill. 

"I think it was knee jerk," said Joel Cheney, a conceal carry instructor at Shooters USA in Bossier City.

He says he's glad the bill was withdrawn. 

"They're trying to legislate common sense and you can't legislate common sense," said Cheney. 

Authorities in Arizona investigated the shooting and ruled it an accident. Still, Norton believes it could have been avoided.

However, for those who think like Cheney, accidents with guns don't happen. 

"For you to get shot, the gun has to be pointing at you and someone has to pull the trigger. That's not an accident, that's negligence," said Cheney. 

Cheney believes education is key and says before his students handle loaded guns, they handle empty ones. Most of them aren't handling sub-machine guns.

"Sub-machine guns or any fully automatic weapons are going to be highly, highly regulated. It's about as regulated as narcotics," said Cheney. 

Other instructors we've spoken to point out that "Uzi" refers to the company that makes the firearm, not the type of firearm.    

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