LA lawmaker again tries for concealed carry with no permit

LA lawmaker again tries for concealed carry with no permit
(Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)
(Source: Jeff Ferrell/KSLA)

SHREVEPORT-BOSSIER CITY, LA (KSLA) - There's an effort underway to make concealing a weapon easier for Louisiana gun owners.

House Bill 68,  known as the Louisiana Constitutional Carry and Restoration of Second Amendment Rights Act of 2017, has been prefiled for the legislative session that gets underway Monday in Baton Rouge.

The proposal would let gun owners carry a concealed weapon without a permit.

At least 11 states now allow concealed carry of a firearm without a permit.

The NRA says another 16 states, including Louisiana, are considering constitutional carry laws.

But permit-less concealed carry laws come with some concerns.

Some see it as a public safety issue.

Supporters call it a simple choice.

"It's either a right or it's not a right. And freedom's messy, offensive and dangerous," firearms instructor Joel Cheney said.

"So you can either accept and live in a free, you know, society. Or you can have people tell you exactly how your freedom's going to be doled out."

Rep. Barry Ivey, R-Baton Rouge, authored House Bill 68.

It's his fourth year in a row to propose similar legislation. The three previous years, the proposal never made it out of committee.

Ivey's staff says he is fighting against what he calls roadblocks for citizens to exercise their constitutional right to bear arms.

Cheney agrees. "I think all the amendments are under attack. And it's just time to stand up and say, 'Hey, we live in a free society. If you don't like it, you don't have to be here'."

At first blush, one might think the owner of a Bossier City shooting range would be all for House Bill 68.

And while Shooters USA owner Paul Murray says concealed carry classes are a big part of his business, he warns that a lack of knowledge about a firearm can be dangerous.

"That's where people get hurt is they're not familiar with their weapons. They'll, you know, take the magazine out and still pull the trigger and there's a bullet there."

Not knowing the laws about when you can and cannot shoot to defend yourself also could land you in jail, Murray said.

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